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United Way hoping for miracle to reach $475K goal

COVINGTON -- Covington-Newton County United Way has fallen short of its $475,000 goal for this year's fundraising campaign, but Executive Director Doris Strickland said she's still hoping for a miracle.

So far, $425,000 has been raised, Strickland said, adding that she expects a few more donations to come in before the first of the year.

"I'm still hoping that a miracle will come and I will reach goal. I haven't given up," she said.

United Way distributes funds to 20 local nonprofit organizations. This year, two new organizations -- the Miracle League of Newton County and Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter -- fall under United Way's umbrella.

"We're trying to make sure all agencies have what they need to sustain them through the year. They depend on us," Strickland said.

Allocations will be made to the agencies around February. Typically, about $325,000 is allocated, with the remaining money used for operating expenses, Strickland said.

Most contributions are made through employee payroll deductions by local industries and businesses. Civic organizations and individuals may also contribute, however.

Strickland said the number of individuals giving increased this year but the size of donations decreased. Strickland said she was encouraged that the number of people contributing had increased, saying that means the community supports United Way's mission.

Donations for the 2009-10 campaign are still being accepted. To donate, make a check payable to Covington-Newton County United Way and mail it to P.O. Box 1344, Covington, GA, 30015. For more information, call 770-786-7638.