Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
The latest United Way fundraising campaign is now under way.
The United Way of Orange County held its annual “Kick-off Breakfast” Thursday morning inside the Gillespie Building of First Presbyterian Church in downtown Orange to signal the start of its 2013-2104 campaign. The goal this year is to raise $850,000.
“We met our goal last year for the first time in several years,” said Dave Young, campaign chairperson. “But we have to find a way to get the rest of the community to share our passion for this campaign. We have got to do our part to help this community because it’s a great community.”
This year’s campaign theme is “Building a Community.” Funds donated to the United Way of Orange County are invested by a network of experienced volunteers into the “basic building blocks” for a good life and programs which produce results in area of education, income, health and basic needs.
“We take this job seriously,” said Brian Beach, president of the United Way of Orange County. “Dave (Young) and his team of volunteers will help us reach our goals, with the help of the community.”
The United Way of Orange County assists 23 agencies across the area with funding which is donated by businesses and individuals. Some of these organizations include Orange County Action Association, Southeast Texas Hospice, Salvation Army, Vidor Children’s Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts of America, Camp Fire USA, Girl Scouts, OCARC and many others.
During the 2012-2013 campaign year, funds were used in a variety of ways to assist Orange County residents.
Approximately 23,158 meals were prepared and delivered to home or congregate feeding sites throughout Orange County five days per week, while 665 senior citizens were able to stay in their homes by receiving home delivered meals five days per week.
The United Way of Orange County and its agencies were able to assist 160 children from low income families by providing a safe environment with after school care and day camp, while another 118 children with special and exceptional needs received various types of therapy, tutoring or mentoring through much needed programs.
More than 120 individuals and families received emergency financial assistance to pay their rent or mortgage. Also, 918 low income individuals with mental health issues received counseling services and 631 victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse received more than 1,800 hours of assistance.
“People don’t know a lot about the United Way and what it does, but there are a lot of good agencies out there that need the support of the United Way of Orange County,” Beach added.
The 2013-2014 United Way fundraising campaign is already off to a good start after the first day as several area businesses have already made contributions to the project.
As of Thursday morning, a total of $153,000, or 18 percent, of the fundraising goal has already been donated. Businesses making contributions already include Akrotex, Bridge City Bank, Chevron/Phillips Chemical Company, DuPont Sabine River Works, Entergy, Firestone, First Financial Bank, International Paper, INVISTA, Lanxess, PrintPack, Sabine Federal Credit Union, Sabine River and Northern Railroad, Steirman Whitfield, CPA and the staff of the United Way of Orange County.
Visit www.unitedwayoforangecounty.org or call 409-883-3591 for more information on the United Way of Orange County.