The United Way for Dawson County announced an ambitious goal of $100,009 Friday, knowing the stress of hard economic times translates to more people needing assistance.
The campaign announcement followed United Way’s annual Day of Caring, which saw more than 50 volunteers pitch in to get their hands dirty and contribute to the community.
Volunteers spent Friday morning cleaning kennels at the Dawson County Humane Society, planting flowers at Rock Creek Park and peeling apples for the Dawson County Senior Center, among other efforts.
One group also lent a hand in painting a shed for a local single foster mother.
“I live here, and I don’t have a man around the house, so any help like that is greatly appreciated,” said Nina Sheth. “It was so nice and pleasant to have them here. It would have taken me all week to paint that shed.”
Helping those in need is a key issue for United Way for Dawson County, which anticipates a more difficult time in raising funds than in previous years.
“There are going to be more requests with fewer funds to distribute,” said Newsom Cummings, United Way for Dawson County chairman of the board. “It’s not going to be easy to get through this campaign.”
Cummings acknowledged the many organizations that depend on contributions from United Way and thanked volunteers who gave up their Friday morning to give themselves to the cause.
“Sometimes money is the easiest thing to give. Sometimes it’s harder to give of yourself,” he said. “You guys that cleaned out those litter boxes know that. We are fortunate to live in Dawson County. We are a strong community, because of people like you.”
Keynote speaker retired U.S. Marine Cpl. John Kenney echoed sounds of gratitude to the volunteers and to United Way for their contributions to society.
“Y’all don’t ask for anything in return. I want to thank United Way for everything you do, because it makes it a lot easier for people like me to do what we do,” he said.
In the past five years, more than $338,000 has been allocated to United Way partners, including Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, American Red Cross, Court Appointed Special Advocate and 4-H in Dawson County.
The United Way for Dawson County board of directors will meet early next year to allocate the campaign funding to its partner agencies. For more information about the United Way, call (770) 781-4110.
E-mail Michele Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org.