ROCKINGHAM — The United Way of Richmond County has two months to reach its annual fundraising goal.
So far, they’re not even halfway.
According to Executive Director Michelle Parrish, UWRC would like to hit $250,000 by the end of February 2022.
However, the current total for the current year is $104,000 — $19,000 shy of the halfway mark.
The fundraising year runs January through December. But, Parrish explained the campaigns generally last into February since the partnering agencies are given payments each quarter, with the first being in March.
The United Way has dealt with several challenges in recent years, including three hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic.
UWRC has three fundraising thermometers placed around the county to measure the donations: Family Pharmacy; FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital-Richmond; and Cole Auditorium at Richmond Community College in Hamlet.
Parrish said while several of the employer-based donations have come in, there are still a few that have not.
“One of the greatest benefits of giving to the United Way of Richmond County is (that) your donation stays local and helps your family, friends and neighbors in our community,” Parrish said, just days before Christmas. “As the needs in the community continue to grow, consider making a donation to our local United Way. Your one donation supports 15 local programs, which amplifies your giving across many critical areas. When your gift combines with others, you can do more than any single gift on its own.”
The 15 partnering agencies that receive funds from the United Way are:
Back Pack Pals; Boy Scouts; Leak Street Alumni; Richmond County 4-H clubs; Richmond County Schools Exceptional Children; Sandhills Children’s Center; Richmond County Aging Services; Samaritan Colony; Habitat for Humanity of the N.C. Sandhills; Pee Dee Pregnancy Resource Center; American Red Cross; New Horizons Life and Family Services; Our Daily Bread; Richmond County Rescue Squad; and the Salvation Army.
There were 17 partnering agencies, however, Parrish said the Girl Scouts did not apply for 2021 funding and the Richmond County Literacy Council is no longer active. In 2022, there will be 13 partners, as the Boy Scouts and Richmond County Aging Services did not apply.
In 2020, Parrish said United Way’s partnering agencies provided 17,018 individuals with services and served them 99,442 times in 2020. Prior to September’s annual Day of Caring, she said 8,840 individuals had been served 48,448 times this year.
In addition to assisting the local nonprofits, UWRC partners with Richmond County Schools each year to collect school supplies in the Stuff the Bus program. This year’s campaign netted more than 30,000 units of notebooks, notebook paper, pencils, markers, crayons, glue sticks and other items.
“This is an especially critical time as not only are nonprofits seeing an increased need for services but their fundraising has been hampered,” Parrish said.
Ongoing fundraising campaigns will wrap up on Feb. 28, 2022, according to Parrish.
To donate or learn more, visit unitedwayrichmondnc.net; call 910-997-2173; or mail to P.O. Box 153, Rockingham, NC 28380.