Niagara Gazette

September 26, 2013

United Way sets its sights on $1.2M goal

Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — With a renewed funding policy in place, the United Way of Greater Niagara announced it has set a goal of $1.275 million for the 2013 Community Care Campaign.

The campaign traditionally seeks to raise funds to support programs and services across Niagara County through a combination of corporate and individual donations, many of which are provided through regular payroll deductions from workers at area businesses. The campaign will run over the next eight weeks, culminating with a community celebration when the official results will be announced.

“On an individual, organizational and community-wide basis, United Way inspires people, reminding us that obstacles can be overcome and change and growth can be realized,” said Dr. James Klyczek, president of Niagara County Community College and honorary chairperson of the Community Care Campaign. “The Community Care Campaign is our opportunity, as members of the Niagara County community, to be a part of that inspiration.” 

United Way of Greater Niagara has successfully reached its campaign fundraising goal each of the past three years, raising a total of more than $4 million during that time. While this year’s goal is down slightly from last year’s mark of $1.31 million, the organization’s president says the change reflects the economic realities facing the community upon whose generosity the campaign depends.

“The needs of our community are as great as ever,” United Way President Carol Houwaart-Diez said. “At the same time, we need to be cognizant of the pressures and strains facing employers and individuals from across the area. We take an objective look at every factor when determining our campaign goal.” As the United Way of Greater Niagara prepares to start the 2013 Community Care Campaign, the agency said it is doing so with a renewed focus on where it will direct the undesignated funds raised during the campaign. Earlier this year, the organization charged an 18-member volunteer task force with completing a thorough review of United Way’s funding strategy and formula.

In June, United Way officials announced that its funding priorities would focus on the critical areas of education, income and health and implemented an open application process focused on funding programs and services with specific goals and objectives for making a community impact. 

On Thursday, the United Way announced that it has selected 44 programs provided by a total of 24 partner organizations for funding through the 2013 Community Care Campaign. The partner organizations will include: American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara County, Boy Scouts of America – Greater Niagara Frontier Council, Boy Scouts of America – Iroquois Trail, Consumer Credit Counseling, The Dale Association, Everywoman Opportunity Center, Family & Children’s Service of Niagara, Girl Scouts of Western New York, Health Association of Niagara County, Inc., Lockport Family YMCA and Lockport Meals on Wheels.

Also receiving funding is the Mental Health Association in Niagara County, Niagara Cerebral Palsy, Niagara Community Action Program, Niagara County Legal Aid Society, Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club, Niagara Falls Family YMCA, Niagara Quality Improvement Project, Northpointe Council, Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, Salvation Army of Lockport, Salvation Army of Niagara Falls and the YWCA of Niagara.