Our Opinion: United Way campaign passes midway point

The area United Way campaign has passed the halfway mark — in more ways than one.

The annual fundraising effort for the United Way of Central Missouri recently posted donations of nearly $1.1 million toward its goal of $1.65 million.

But the campaign also is beyond the midway point as the scheduled Nov. 8 Victory Celebration nears.

Money collected during the campaign will be distributed to 25 member agencies and programs that offer health and human services.

Ann Bax, president of the area United Way, paused between informational presentations at area businesses to share some thoughts on this year’s effort.

The Pacesetters, businesses that conducted early employee campaigns, provided what Bax called a “great start” by raising more than $816,000, or 49 percent of the goal, before the campaign’s official start.

Since the kick-off event, staff and volunteers have held about 120 meetings with employees at the workplace. Bax described the community meetings as opportunities “to thank the employees for their past support, and to educate and inform them about the services provided” by United Way partners.

She said the meetings are continuing and the positive feedback has been encouraging.

Nevertheless, she concedes a lot of work remains before the campaign ends.

We share her characterization of the campaign as “cautiously optimistic.”

This year’s goal is ambitious, but the campaign momentum remains strong and the community traditionally responds generously.

In a story published Monday, campaign Co-Chairman Lori Massman said the goal will not be attained “by a few big dollar donations, but by everyone — one person at a time and $1 at a time — in a grassroots effort.”

And there’s still time.

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