DECATUR– The United Way is taking a new approach to its 2015 campaign as they kick off their fundraising efforts this weekend.
During their annual Day of Action, United Way Executive Director Debbie Bogle announced this year’s campaign will be chaired by a group of people, forgoing the usual method of just one person.
The co-chairs this year will be Stacey Young, Aric Lee, Caleb Jump, and Carla Brinkoetter.
“We look at every campaign as starting off at ground zero, we knew we wanted to do something different this year and we think this group of co-chairs will help keep things fresh and will help us look at things a little differently,” Bogle said.
The campaign goal this year has been set at $1.6 million, a lofty, but attainable goal according to co-chair Stacey Young, “It’s never easy to raise any amount of dollars, it takes a buy-in from the people involved directly, but also the people in the community, they are just as big of a part of this as we are.”
Young said she thought the group mentality will help them towards their goal, “We all do certain things well, we are all well connected to the community but we also have our individual strengths, and that will prove valuable.”
With the Day of Action wrapping up on Saturday afternoon Bogle said their numbers for the event were high once again, “We had 661 volunteers for various projects around Decatur, that totals over 1,600 man hours of volunteer work, that’s huge for this community.”
in addition to traditional campaigns and proven ideas such as Dine United, which was started in 2012, and the #myway campaign that was started two years ago, Bogle says they are adding another new effort this year; the Good Shop program.
Good Shop targets local small businesses and encourages them to donate $50 per month for the entirety of the campaign. For their efforts, the participating businesses will get a window sticker identifying them as a ‘Good Shop’.
“Good Shop is a way for us to include small businesses and help them become more involved with the United Way in the form of a monthly payment,” Bogle said. “It is assumed that only the big dollars make a difference, but the truth is every single dollar matters and with small businesses replacing some of the larger employers in our community it is important for us to get them involved.”
This year the United Way is supporting over 40 local organizations with monetary assistance as well as providing volunteers for them. If you want to get involved with the United Way, you can search out projects to volunteer with by going to uwdecatur.org