The United Way of Horry County is $200,000 short of its fundraising goal and is stepping up its push for donations. The campaign launched in September with a Day of Caring and a goal of $1,275,000. United Way is a major source of funding for 41 agencies that help a range of people in the county, from the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand to the Disabled American Veterans and the American Red Cross Coastal S.C. Chapter.
“We’re at 85 percent of our goal, and it’s very critical that we close that gap,” said Olivia Garren, president of United Way of Horry County. “We have a committed group of volunteers who are working very hard, and we want people to realize how important this is, and if they haven’t already, they can still be a part of it.”
The organization has had years when it barely missed its goal but didn’t have to reduce its allocations, said Garren, which is why her group is working hard to make up the difference this time around.
“It’s just so critical that we are able to honor the allocations specified for 2013,” she said.
Help4Kids/Backpack Buddies is one organization that is supported by United Way. Backpacks of food ensure 2,800 children from 27 schools have food to eat during the weekends, and the program also provides food for children through the summer.
“The money we get is for our Backpack Buddies program, and that feeds a lot of children,” founder Barb Mains said. “United Way is wonderful, and they check all their agencies – they are all straight-up.”
Garren said United Way already has conducted an initial phone blitz of potential donors and will follow up in the next week or two. She said there are people in the area who are in the habit of giving, and they want them to know they can still get in their contributions.
Campaign Chairman Mike Poston said there is not a specific date for the campaign’s end, but it will be sometime at the end of March. He said every dollar makes a difference, and they appreciate the generosity that’s been shown in the past and anticipate the same generosity this year.
“The people in Horry County are so responsive to need,” Garren said. “If they realize [there’s a shortfall], they’ll help raise it.”