Breckenridge Texan

United Fund seeks donations for local organizations

United Fund seeks donations for local organizations
December 15
10:39 2017

The United Fund of Breckenridge is in the midst of its annual fundraising campaign, and the group’s president, Sherry Strickland, says volunteers have been diligently contacting  businesses and individuals, seeking donations, which stay in the community and benefit a variety of local organizations.

“We like to say that one donation to the United Fund helps 17 organizations, and all are local organizations,” Strickland said. “The organizations we help are from a pretty good cross-section of our community. They’re all really good organizations.”

The United Fund Board of Directors decided this year to focus only on groups in Stephens County and Breckenridge, declining to send funds to the Red Cross, as it has done in the past. “We decided that there are so many needs close to home, and we just prefer for it all to stay right here in Breckenridge,” Strickland said.

The 17 organizations that will receive donations from the United Fund are:

  • Breckenridge Girls Softball Association
  • Girl Scouts
  • Cub Scouts/BSA
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Breckenridge Junior Bucks
  • Open Door
  • Breckenridge Little League, Inc.
  • School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC)
  • Breckenridge Fine Arts Center
  • Stephens County Ag & Community Center
  • Breckenridge Library
  • Stephens County Humane Society
  • Breckenridge Youth Soccer
  • Swenson Memorial Museum
  • Goodall’s House
  • Stephens County Child Welfare Board
  • Friends of Historic Breckenridge

The United Fund of Breckenridge keeps the community informed about the amount of donations they’ve received with this marker located temporarily in the downtown park. (Courtesy photo)

Each year, the United Fund reaches out to the organizations that it has traditionally given money to and asks how much they need for the upcoming year. Then, the all-volunteer board decides how much to donate to each group and sets a budget and campaign goal.

They also consider new organizations to add to the list. However, fundraising has been hard recently, Strickland said, and the United Fund has fallen short of its campaign goal. That limits the number of organizations they can help.

“We actually had to turn down a request this year because we didn’t want to over-extend ourselves,” she said.

The board looks at the overall situation of each organization that they’re going to donate to and decides how much they can give to each one. Some get more than others, depending on their needs, Strickland said.

“One that we bumped up this year is the Humane Society because they’ve just had a rough year,” she said. “Since I’ve been on the board, we’ve added the Youth Soccer and Open Door.”

This year’s United Fund goal is $22,155, and after two months of campaigning, the donations currently total $9,013, about 40 percent of the goal. The board lowered their goal and didn’t take any new requests this year, after failing to meet the goals set in recent years.

“We’re diligently trying to raise that amount, but it’s been tough the last couple of years,” Strickland said. “We want to be able to continue our commitment to the organizations we’ve had a long-term relationship with.”

Many of the United Fund’s donations come from local businesses whose employees volunteer to donate a portion of their paycheck each month. The businesses collect the money and then forward it to the United Fund.

This year, Strickland said, Lee Olson, the store director at United Supermarket, chose to make the United Fund of Breckenridge the recipient of the store’s charitable donations.

“United Supermarkets goes to every store in every location that they have, and they have one person in each store to lead their United Drive. And that can be used for the United Way or the United Fund, either one,” Olson said. “We chose to do the United Fund, since it’s a local organization, and we wanted to do something that is locally based. The United Fund is one of my favorite organizations because all the money goes back to Stephens County.”

Olson said there was an outstanding response to the request for donations. “We had 93 percent of our employees contribute,” he said.

Strickland said the United Supermarket employees have pledged a total of $3,742 to the United Fund – that’s more than 40 percent of the total collected so far.

“It just touches my heart that (the United) employees would give so generously,” Strickland said. “It’s an amazing testimony to their dedication to their hometown.”

The complete to-date list of those who have donated or pledged to the United Fund includes: Arnot Oil Company, Baxley Auto Lube, Bendorf Services and Supply, Ray Blacks II Auto, Breck Operating, Breckenridge Integrity Plumbing, Breckenridge Interbank, Carstens Motor Company, Certified Auto Glass, employees of the City of Breckenridge, Delta Oil & Gas, David Duggan PC, Fambro Veterinary Clinic, Mike and Cassie Griffith, Junior Buckaroo Academy, Owen Surveying, Paul Prater, Reagle Air, Ridge Motel, Sarah Satterwhite, Chaunce Thompson, Tom Thompson, Thurmon Furniture, employees of United Supermarkets, McDonald’s, and Kyle Yeates.

The United Fund uses about $1,000 each year to pay for standard office and fundraising expenses, such as printing costs for the donation cards, postage, etc. The rest of the money raised is donated to the local charities. All of the board members are volunteers, and since the United Fund is locally organized and not affiliated with any other organization, there are no fees or dues that would take away any of the money.

Anyone or any business may donate to the United Fund by sending a check to:  United Fund of Breckenridge, Inc., P.O. Box 170, Breckenridge, TX  76424.

Additionally, those who want to donate may contact anyone on the Board of Directors for a pledge card.  The 2017-18 United Fund Board of Directors are:  Sherry Strickland, President; Kevin Simmons, Treasurer; Whitney Fulgham, Secretary; Jean Hayworth, Fund Drive Chairman; and Sandy Broyles, Cassie Griffith, Scott Harris, Lynda Justus, Wayne Justus, Kathy O’Shields, Gary Trammel, Sharon Wimberley and Jeannie Gann.

Also, donations may be taken to First National Bank or Breckenridge InterBank. And, memorial cards are available at Melton-Kitchens Funeral Home and Morehart Mortuary for United Fund donations in memory of a loved one.

 

Story by Carla McKeown and Tony Pilkington

Cutline, top photo: Members of the United Fund of Breckenridge’s board of directors met with United Supermarket employees Thursday afternoon to express their appreciation for the pledges the employees have made. The United Supermarket employees have agreed to donate a total of $3,742 to the local organization. Pictured are, from left, Sharon Wimberly, Rusty Cook, Delfino Jaimes, Jacob Haverly, Turner Baugh, Sandy Broyles, Sabrina Franco, Lee Olson, Wayne Justus, Lansten Conner and Gary Layne. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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