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United Way pledges down so far

Without the funding it receives from Metro United Way, Big Brothers/Big Sisters wouldn’t be able to serve as many children as it does.
“Metro United Way is so important to us here locally,” said Michelle Dayvault, volunteer recruitment/resource coordinator for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Harrison County. “We get the majority of our funding from United Way.”
Big Brothers/Big Sisters has the traditional match-up of adults with children who are typically from single-parent homes. It also offers in-school mentoring, after-school mentoring, and a sports buddies program, a four-month match-up that involves activities.
“I think if people realized what we do, they’d be more generous,” Dayvault said.
“Generous” giving is needed for the Harrison County United Way campaign to reach its goal of $430,000, according to Barbara Middleton, this year’s campaign chair.
Pledges received as of last week totaled $67,858 — or about 15.6 percent of the goal.
Last year, the county experienced a shortfall in its goal of $487,000, when $392,403-plus was pledged.
Middleton, the district manager for Cinergy/PSI’s Corydon/Salem district, remains optimistic about reaching this year’s goal.
“It is early and the campaign is still running,” she said. “Some of the major (campaigns) take place in October.”
There also is money available to match United Way contributions.
“Hopefully that will help boost our total,” Middleton said.
Locally, United Way provides funding to more than two dozen agencies that provide services to Harrison County residents.
“The reasons why people should contribute to United Way have not changed,” said Chad Stengel, Metro United Way associate director for Harrison and Floyd counties. “The need is still there.”
That “need” is to help with expenses at agencies such as the Gerdon Youth Center in Corydon “so kids can go there and burn off energy in a positive way,” Stengel said.
“Blue River Services still is assisting physically and mentally challenged clients,” he said. “Hoosier Hills PACT still provides assistance to victims of domestic violence.”
While Stengel said United Way appreciates the pledges received to date, there is a “sense of urgency” to complete pledges as there are less than seven weeks remaining in the campaign.
“I don’t think people know how deep we reach,” he said.
Agencies besides those already mentioned that receive funding from United Way that serve Harrison County residents include the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Bingham Child Guidance Center, Boy Scouts of America — Lincoln Heritage Council, Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana, Bridgepointe Center, Center for Women and Families, Community Coordinated Child Care, Council on Mental Retardation, Crisis and Information Center, Family and Children’s Counseling Centers, The Family Place: A Child Abuse Treatment Agency, Harrison County Community Services, Haven House Services Inc., Hospice & Palliative Care of Southern Indiana, House of Ruth, Interfaith Community Council/RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program), Jefferson Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center, Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family and Vocational Service, Kentucky Youth Advocates, LifeSpan Resources Inc., The Next Step, Our Place Drug and Alcohol Education Services, Personal Counseling Service, Salvation Army of Southern Indiana and Visually Impaired Preschool Services.
One in three persons in Harrison County are assisted by an United Way agency.
“United Way provides services for a wide age group,” Middleton said. “Everyone probably knows someone who has been touched by an agency.”
Persons or businesses who have not been contacted yet about making a contribution to Metro United Way may call 738-1213.