United Way fundraising total hits $2.17M

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – United Way of Northeast Mississippi officials said Thursday they have raised $2.17 million so far this year, surpassing the campaign goal of $2.15 million.
As of Thursday, the organization has pledges for $2,173,334. The United Way hit its goal last week.
“We’re hoping to keep bringing in the money into February because the more we have, the more we have to allocate,” said Cathy Robertson, this year’s campaign chairwoman.
The money will be divided among 64 health and human service agencies in Lee, Chickasaw, Union, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Itawamba and Tishomingo counties.
The United Way last year raised $2.2 million, beating its $2.1 million goal.
However, the organization had agencies request more money than was available. The trend continued this year.
“This year, we have at least 25 percent more requests than we have money, even after reaching our campaign goal,” said Shane Hooper, the president of the United Way board. “We’ve had several agencies that have already made requests for more money than last year.”
Robertson said the same economic situation that makes fundraising tough also creates a situation where more people in the community need help.
The largest portion of the United Way funds comes from payroll deduction. Hooper said it was payroll deductions that pushed this year’s campaign over the top.
“We have more people contributing,” he said. “We didn’t see any large donations from one donor. … The more people get involved, the better it is because it isn’t a burden on any one person. … The most important thing is that call to action to everyone in the community to get involved.”

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.

Get involved
- To donate to the campaign or volunteer for a local nonprofit, contact the United Way of Northeast Mississippi office at (662) 841-9133.