As it inches toward a $515,000 goal, a new tool has been unveiled by United Fund of Surry which literally makes donating to the campaign as easy as pushing a button.
For the first time, contributors can give much-needed money by visiting the United Fund website and following a few simple steps. “People can go there and put a donation on their credit card or PayPal account,” explained Beth Pequeno, executive director for the fundraising organization.
This method has just become available, and United Fund officials hope it will help put the 2012-2013 campaign over the top. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had achieved $447,046, or 87 percent, of the goal.
The United Fund of Surry provides vital financial support to 26 community agencies that supply crisis and emergency care; food, utility and medical assistance; shelter; and counseling services, among others.
Pequeno said the “donation button” on the United Fund website (at www.unitedfundofsurry.org) is expected to provide a major boost to the campaign that officials are seeking to wrap up by the end of this month.
Not only does the new website tool promote ease of giving, as opposed to physically donating by mail or other means, Pequeno said there’s an incentive involved because some consumers prefer using credit cards for transactions due to points they receive.
For those who still favor the old-fashioned method, contributions can be mailed to United Fund of Surry, P.O. Box 409, Mount Airy, NC 27030.
Meanwhile, several individual campaigns among businesses are still under way. “Some of them are large ones,” Pequeno said.
Major headway has been made since Dec. 18, when the campaign had achieved slightly more than 50 percent of the goal, and Jan. 1, when the 70-percent mark was hit.
United Fund officials are hoping to avoid last year’s outcome when the effort fell just short (about 96 percent) of its goal, which also was $515,000.
One difficulty faced in recent years is that several major companies whose employees have traditionally supported the fund have closed. That also has created a double-whammy with needs for services increasing due to those people being out of work.
Surry County’s poverty rate is in the 20-percent range, Pequeno said.
She pointed out that the sole reason for the United Fund’s existence is to provide financial support for the 26 member agencies. “And if they do not get this funding they’re counting on from us, they will have to cut services and programs.”
The list includes area rescue squads as well as The Salvation Army, Red Cross and organizations that help feed those in need such as Meals on Wheels and Yokefellow Ministry.
Lack of financial support from the United Fund means people going without food, medicine or shelter, in the case of the Shepherd’s House, which provides temporary housing to the homeless.
“If we didn’t have the Shepherd’s House, we’d have kids living with their parents in a car,” Pequeno said of one example of a clear need.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.