Editorial |United Way fundraising goal holds steady

06/25/2013 6:24 PM

06/26/2013 7:25 AM

The upcoming United Way of Horry County fundraising campaign for 37 community partners isn’t aiming to break any records with this year’s drive, volunteers just hope to hit the $1.275 goal that has eluded them for the past few years.

“We’re ready to roll with the new campaign,’’ says Olivia Garren, United Way president. Garren, campaign chairman Mike Poston and others are exploring options and looking for ways to increase support from the residential portion of the campaign.

Area communities include many residents who were accustomed to giving to United Way, perhaps through payroll deductions, and have retired here and are not approached in employee campaigns.

A modest increase in residential campaign contributions would give fundraising the boost it needs. The 2012-13 drive finished at $1,228,158 -- 96.33 percent of the goal.

A community’s United Way results are a significant economic and social indicator of the area’s vitality. Only six years ago, the United Way of Horry County raised $1,491,000 -- several thousand over the $1.475 goal.

Moving in that direction is the way to go and increased focus on the residential campaign is a good way to spark an upturn.

The funds collected go to nonprofits that provide basic human needs, such as three Helping Hand organizations, CAP (Churches Assisting People) in Conway, the American Red Cross Coastal S.C. Chapter, the Salvation Army and Community Kitchen of Myrtle Beach.

Agencies for children and youth include Help 4 Kids, Boys Scouts, Girl Scouts, Freedom Readers and Boys & Girls Clubs; family-oriented agencies include the Friendship Medical Clinic & Pharmacy, Coastal Samaritan Counseling Center and A Father’s Place; a fourth group promotes self-sufficiency and includes GRACE Ministries and the Horry County Council on Aging.

The United Way board of directors approved allocations earlier this month at the same meeting the new fundraising goal was set. Very few allocations were changed from last year, according to Ann G. Graham, administrative manager for the United Way of Horry County.

The area chapter of the Red Cross was one of the few receiving a slight increase in its $75,000 allocation, which restores some of the United Way funding the chapter lost two years in a row. The other $75,000 allocation is to New Directions, a realignment of Lifeline, formerly Citizens Against Spouse Abuse (CASA), Street Reach in Myrtle Beach and the Center for Women and Children.

Other major allocations include: Friendship Medical Clinic, $72,000; Helping Hand of Myrtle Beach, $57,000; Horry County Council on Aging, $40,000; CAP, $38,500; North Strand Helping Hand, $35,500; Children’s Mentoring Program of Horry County, $35,000; Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA, $32,000; Salvation Army of Horry County, $20,000; Help 4 Kids, $20,000. The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club in Conway receives a separate allocation of $15,000.

Allocations were maintained because of changes in two of the agency’s previous partners: Pee Dee Speech and Hearing, which had received $30,000, closed its Myrtle Beach office, and True Blue Community Services ($5,000) did not apply for an allocation. A new partner, allocated $5,000, is Toomie’s Kids which assists special needs children with class field trips and other services.

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