The United Way for Dawson County announced its 2012 fundraising goal Friday during a luncheon that followed the annual Day of Caring.
Holding large, red balloons, United Way board members said they hope to raise $105,000 within the next few months to support local partner agencies such as Boy and Girl Scouts, Rape Response, WEE Books and Challenged Child and Friends, among others.
Several representatives of those partner agencies shared stories on how the United Way has affected their lives.
Diane Dinsmore, whose grandson Zach is working on his GED through Reading Education Association of Dawson County, talked about what the program means to her family.
She said a chance meeting at Rock Creek Park with READ board member Julie Hughes Nix made it possible.
"She started talking to Zach and telling him how important it was to get his GED. And she came to me and said, ‘I'm going to help him,'" Dinsmore said.
Her grandson is well on his way to the achievement.
"I am so thankful that someone came along, and I'm thankful for United Way for helping him get his GED," she said.
United Way for Dawson County Chairwoman Sue Seldomridge called the testimonials her favorite part of the luncheon.
It's rewarding, she said, to "hear such inspiring stories and to know that the work that we do in the community for United Way and our agencies produces results."
Friday's lunch was part of the organization's annual Day of Caring, which organizes volunteers to work on projects throughout the community.
Some volunteers peeled apples at the senior center, while others took time to revitalize a playground at NOA, a women's shelter in Dahlonega that also serves Dawson.
"We'd like to thank every single one of you for helping us reach our goals," Seldomridge said.