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United Way launches fundraising campaign

Posted: October 18, 2012 - 11:09pm

If you are in a charitable mood, the United Way provides a one-stop shop to accommodate your good deeds. Whether donating time, money or general community service efforts, the agency embraces your contribution. United Way of Southeast Alaska announced Thursday the beginning of its community giving campaign. The non-profit hopes to raise $500,000 by December.

“We’ve been bubbling along at $370,000 to $375,000 for the last number of years,” Wayne Stevens, president and CEO of the United Way of Southeast, said in a phone interview.

However, its board made a commitment to raise awareness and with it, more resources, Stevens said. Often people don’t donate because they are not aware of the need, he said.

“Nobody asked,” Stevens said. This year the community organization plans to let people know.

United Way of Southeast Alaska’s core areas of interests are education, income stability and public health in the region, according to a United Way press release, “because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life.”

Recently United Way of SE joined forces with Coeur d’Alene Mining Corporation Kensington Mine to promote early reading success for Juneau’s pre-third grade youth.

“We all have things that are important to us outside of work,” Stevens said. “Whether working with seniors, kids or being a reading tutor.”

United Way works with 35 partner groups across the Southeast.

“[In] all communities in Southeast Alaska and particularly Haines, Sitka, Ketchikan and Juneau where we have several United Way partner agencies,” according to a United Way release.

Options for giving time or resources could include a workplace campaign for employees to donate through monthly payroll deductions.

“A mere $5 a week among the 36,000 employed across the Southeast would amount to over $9 million,” Stevens said. “To make things work you’ve got to have some money,” Stevens said.

United Way also has options for signing up to donate or volunteer online through the non-profit’s Get Connected web page at www.unitedwayseak.org.

”You can go online, use your credit card and earn miles for your favorite airline,” Stevens said.

Stevens said all of Southeast United Way’s partners and projects could use people who are willing to pitch in a little bit. Whether as a sports score keeper to a phone line worker, he said.

“There are a myriad ways to get involved in your community,” Stevens said.

“People have to get engaged if we are going to make change,” Stevens said. “If we want to develop our communities to where we want them to be,” a great place to live, work and play.

The official campaign will run through the middle of December.

For more information visit www.unitedwayseak.org

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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