Fulfilling the needs of this community, that's what the United Way does. But this year donations have fallen short. In fact, United Way officials are saying it's a critical situation. The deadline is Friday and right now they are more than $100,000 below their goal.
United Way of Lubbock funds 23 agencies in town. When they don't meet their goal, then the agencies they assist have to cut back. That means people in need will be turned away. Whether its a warm meal, a safe place to stay or counseling people are going to suffer, if the money doesn't start rolling in.
|United Way Partner Agencies|
United Way Marketing Director Carol Alonzo explains the downward trend in donations. "I think there are a lot of factors that go into whether or not we make the goal. We've seen this trend coming from across the country and other United Way's across the state have been struggling for a lot of reasons, economy, but it's never really hit us," says Alonzo.
Until now, and now agencies like the Salvation Army will suffer. "The United Way is an important part of our budget. The money we get helps augment our emergency services for our families and also for our homeless shelter and right now we are serving about 160 meals a day. That's not just for the homeless but also the low income. Our fear is that if we don't receive our full allocation from United Way we are going to have to reduce services. That means that some low income people that are having a hard enough time already are going to have an even harder time if we can't feed them," says Major Mark Satterlee, of the Salvation Army.
But the effects don't stop there. The Salvation Army is only one of the 23 agencies that benefit from United Way funds. Children's Advocacy Center also depends on the money.
"It would devastate us. Our funding on all levels has been cut and we really are dependent on United Way. Child abuse is the worst kind of homeland terrorism. It undermines the future of our nation. It hurts our children and if we want Americans to stand tall and be proud of America then we need to help these kids. So give of yourself, give to United Way," said Connie Hindman, of the Children's Advocacy's Center.
The good news is that there is still time to help. United Way will take your donations any time of the year, but if you want to help them meet this years goal just call (806) 747-2711.
The important thing to remember is that every penny counts, and if you can't give money, they can also use volunteers. Their goal this year is about $4.5 million, and if you are thinking $100,000 is just a drop in the bucket, in actuality every penny of that has already been promised to agencies across the South Plains.