More than 100 volunteers and supporters gathered Thursday at the Trotter Convention Center to herald in the beginning of the annual 2010-11 United Way of Lowndes County fundraising campaign.
The Pacesetter corporate campaign, which began July 29 and ended Sept. 3, has already received donations and pledges totaling $156,584, said Pacesetter Campaign Chairman Stewart Stafford.
Now that the full campaign is up and running, Campaign Chairwoman Lynn Atkins said, United Way is aiming to raise $600,000 by the end of November.
“And when you give to Lowndes County, you support our entire community,” she added during her keynote Thursday.
The funds are spent entirely in Lowndes County, which sets United Way apart from most charitable organizations, said Executive Board Secretary Marilyn Agnew.
“I”ve found a lot of people love giving for that reason,” she said.
But funds are drying up because of the recession, making it even more important for people to give this year, Atkins said.
“If there ever was a time for newcomers to rally around the United Way campaign, it is now,” she said.
The campaign kick-off was preceded by the Day to Care, which brought volunteers together to do community projects including yard work for the elderly and disabled, and helping clean and repair non-profit organizations” facilities.
Helping out non-profits was an eye-opening experience for Mississippi University for Women Youth Development Specialist Ivey Ivy, who helped clean the Columbus Air Force Base Child Development Center.
“It helps us see what others are doing so we”re not doing the same things,” she said. “We discovered more ways to work together.”
The United Way serves more than 17,000 people in Lowndes County with local volunteers and supporters, according to statistics released by Jo Ellen James, the chapter”s public relations agent.
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