United Way sets $400K goal

COVINGTON - Covington-Newton County United Way is off to a good start with its fundraising campaign this year. Publix on Brown Bridge Road has already pledged $35,000, said United Way Executive Director Doris Strickland. With 180 employees, many of them part-time, Strickland said that’s an impressive pledge, adding that Publix supplements employee payroll deductions with a corporate donation.

This year’s campaign runs through Nov. 15 with a goal of raising $400,000. The goal remains unchanged since last year’s successful campaign. About 10 industries and companies regularly pledge to the campaign, along with Newton Medical Center and the Newton County Board of Education, Strickland said.

Strickland said $235,000 was divided between 20 local nonprofit agencies this year. Allocations to nonprofits are made early in the new year, and recipients are selected by United Way’s Board of Directors. Agencies that have benefitted in the past include the Salvation Army, Special Olympics, the Miracle League, YMCA and the Community Food Pantry.

Strickland said that although the campaign may meet pledge goals, that does not mean the actual funds will come in, especially when corporations have lay-offs. In addition, some of the funds raised go towards administrative costs and the United Way’s emergency relief program. Strickland said she hopes more can be distributed to agencies this year, as the need has not decreased.

Invitations to apply for next year’s allocation have been sent to nonprofits that received funding this year. Strickland asked other agencies interested in applying to contact her at 770-786-7638 as soon as possible.

Companies participate in the United Way campaign through voluntary deductions from employees’ paychecks. Individual contributions can be mailed to P.O. Box 1344, Covington, GA, with checks made payable to United Way.