Local News

United Way drive begins

Posted September 3, 2009
Updated September 8, 2009

The United Way kicked off its annual fund-raising campaign in Raleigh Thursday amid concerns that raising money will be harder than ever in this down economy.

As the economy sputters, more people are facing financial pressure. Local charities see increased need and say their pleas for help are even more urgent than in year’s past.

Organizers of the “Live United” campaign are worried that families may limit donations this year under the strain of tighter household budgets. Campaign Chairman John Stallings recognizes the challenge.

"This year, it's a challenging economy. Everyone knows someone that's been impacted in some way – layoffs, 9 percent unemployment rate. More than ever, people are feeling the need," he said.

He hopes the public will translate that feeling into giving. The campaign has a goal to raise $17 million.

"I think people will be more aware of the need out there and may be willing to dig a little deeper,” he said. “Find a way to make a contribution because it helps so many people."

The United Way works with a total of 95 non-profit groups in the Triangle. Many food pantries and other organizations have reported a 30 percent increase in requests for help this calendar year.

Laura Benson helps homeless families find a place to live. She said this year donations will be critical.

“We make sure that what we say we're going to do, really happens in the community," she said.

Organizers said giving to the United Way is one way community members can stand strong for the less fortunate.


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  • Reader X Sep 9, 2009

    I agree with 37 and Jaredsmom, so many companies don't allow solisitation or for employees to sell things at work (amway, girlscout cookies, etc) but then allow United Way to come in and expect everyone to donate. Plus they do not have a section that allows you to donate to animals (SPCA, USERL, etc). If you happen to have the tax id #, you are not allowed to put it in manually- if you do, they will just transfer it to one of the selected United way affiliates. I refuse to donate to them. I will make my donations in person to my local fire, rescue, animal leagues, etc.

  • JaredsMom Sep 4, 2009

    I agree with 37. My employer says its "voluntary" too. Then you are questioned why you aren't giving.

  • radical Sep 4, 2009

    I quit giving to United Way when they quit giving to the boyscouts. Now I give all my money directly to the boyscouts, and no administration fees are taken out of my contribution.
    I feel much better about my donations knowing none of it will be wasted in advertising or other adminstrative expenses

  • whatusay Sep 3, 2009

    Sorry, but I won't be contributing to an organization that pays a CEO over $1.5 million dollars a year in salary. I thought this was supposed to be a charity.

  • 37 Sep 3, 2009

    You mean the thing that is "voluntary" to participate in? The one I get constant work e-mails about? Super. These folks do not know what my charitable contributions are and yet they think it is fine to have an HR-sanctioned shakedown.