United Way still looking for donations 02.16.2011

Written by David Green.

With donations lagging, the campaign season for the Lenawee United Way is extended through February.

Late last month, the agency’s goal of $900,000 was only 80 percent complete and United Way directors were expecting a shortfall of $150,000. Last year’s collection reached $834,000, which stood as the smallest in many years. Much of the loss is attributed to a decrease in the county’s manufacturing base.

Campaign chair Jim Kapnick urges Lenawee residents to give $52 (representing a dollar a week). Those who have already donated are asked to give an additional $52.

The shortfall in donations will result in a reduction to the United Way’s funded program, such as the Boys and Girls Club and the Red Cross, as well as to programs in local communities.

One in three county residents received service from funded programs during the past two years.

“It does affect your people locally,” Kapnick said at a recent Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce meeting.

He said 922 people with Morenci addresses were served in 2010.

United Way focuses on three areas:

• Basic needs—clothing, household needs, homeless prevention, etc.

• Self-sufficiency—job training, mentoring, child care to allow schooling and job seeking, etc.

• Healthy life—health and dental care for uninsured and underinsured, support for adults with disabilities, mental health counseling for the economically disadvantaged, etc.

The need for services increased in 2010, Kapnick said, and this year is expected to be worse.

Donations may be directed to a specific program, but United Way takes seven percent of the pledge for general use.

“The funds that the United Way collects do change people’s lives,” Kapnick said.

• To make a donation, call 517/263-4696 or donate on-line at www.lenaweeunitedway.org.

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