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United Way fundraising short $100K

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

COVINGTON -- The local United Way is ending this year's fundraising campaign $100,000 short of its $475,000 goal, said Director Doris Strickland.

The organization has fallen short of its goal before, but never by this much, she said. While Strickland said she thought the goal was unrealistic given current economic conditions, "at the same time, we always strive to do our best."

"It's economics. It has not been a good year for people. It's not that people aren't giving, but maybe they're not giving as much," she added.

Most donations come from local businesses and this year, $441,000 was preliminarily pledged, but not all has come through, Strickland said. Companies participate through a voluntary deduction from employees' paychecks, and Strickland surmised that reductions in force could have contributed to the decline in donations.

The funds will be allocated in early 2011, and Strickland said she believes all 22 nonprofit agencies under the United Way umbrella will still get money, but it might be less this year.

"Each one is a good agency and does good things, but if you don't have the money, you just don't have the money. Times are going to get better. I feel like this time two years from now things are not going to be thriving but we're going to see a difference," she said.

Strickland thanked all who contributed.

"People were still generous; $375,000 is nothing to squawk about in these economic times," she said.

Contributions are still being accepted and can be mailed to P.O. Box 1344, Covington, GA 30015, with checks made payable to United Way. For more information, call 770-786-7638.