By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The United Way of Northeast Mississippi hopes to raise $2.3 million this year to help the region’s residents.
It’s the highest goal so far, according to Susie Morgan, the organization’s marketing director.
Last year, United Way topped its $2.2 million goal by raising $2,290,815. To date, the United Way in its 50 years has raised $38,470,299.
The money is divvied up to participating nonprofit agencies in Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lee, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Union and Tishomingo counties.
“We have a record number of 68 partner agencies this year,” said Booneville resident Rick Willis, the campaign chairman this year. “And we have a record number of people in our seven-county footprint who need help.”
Willis is the president of BancorpSouth in Booneville. He’s also president of the Booneville Rotary Club.
The United Way is kicking off the campaign July 28 with a back-to-school resource fair. United Way hopes to give supply-filled backpacks to 4,000 children in kindergarten through sixth grade.
Students must register to get the backpacks. As of Tuesday, 1,745 students had registered.
The United Way still is seeking monetary donations for the supplies. As of Tuesday, it had raised $16,000.
A $10 sponsorship buys one filled backpack.
“The money will come in,” Morgan said. “We’re not worried about that. We’ll supply what we can.”
The fair is July 28 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the BancorpSouth Arena.
To register a child or to sponsor a backpack, call (662) 841-9133 or go to UnitedWayofNEMS.org.