United Way funding campaign needs everyone – right now

The Lycoming County United Way has calculated a need to raise $1.6 million in its current fundraising campaign to support 55,000 people through the programs it sponsors.

Last year, the campaign raised $1.2 million, so $400,000 more than that is being sought.

As of mid-January, fundraising was lagging about $200,000 behind last year’s total, according to officials.

You do the math. It shows a daunting fundraising challenge ahead if the United Way is to meet its fundraising and therefore human services goal.

That is why Lycoming County United Way President Ron Frick is calling the next 30 days critical to the campaign and, by extension, those human services.

He points to late starts in workplace fundraising, which makes up 60 percent of the fundraising. He points to a younger group of givers who do not have a 30- to 40-year history of giving to United Way.

Whatever the reasons, people of all generations and both inside and outside the workplace need to understand how vital giving to the United Way is.

The money is spread through human services agencies and organizations that serve a variety of needs that, in total, blanket the entire community: Young and old, the hungry, the homeless, those trying to keep homes warm, those in need of food, those suffering from domestic abuse, children needing care, those trying to overcome a recent setback or an emergency.

When all the needy – and worthy – are totaled up, they number 55,000.

But without the money to run these programs, most of them operating on a shoestring, the number served goes down significantly.

Look in the mirror. Look into your heart. And give to the United Way in the coming weeks.