United Way has raised $781,418; still short of $1.1M goal with one week to go

Published 11:07am Monday, December 9, 2013

Though the United Way of Mower County is behind pace for its $1.1-million fundraising goal, Executive Director Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt feels it may be a timing issue.

The local United Way announced this morning it has raised $781,418, or about 71 percent of its goal, with the public campaign wrapping up Sunday. But many campaigns wrap up in January and February 2014, and larger contributors like Austin Public Schools and Quality Pork Processors Inc. haven’t finished their campaigns. QPP — which raised $138,000 in 2012 — will announce its total on Wednesday.

While Lighthizer-Schmidt is hopeful local donors will come through, other United Ways have told her they’re feeling the pinch, too. In Austin, missing the goal means some programs may go under funded or even unfunded.

“It would be wonderful [to reach the $1.1 million goal],” Lighthizer-Schmidt said. “We’d love to be able to fund both historical programs that do good work and new programs, as well.”

Funds donated to the United Way of Mower County go entirely to local programs in four main categories: education, income, health and basic needs. For a list of services and programs the United Way funded in 2012, visit austindailyherald.com/2013/11/donations-at-work. The local United Way’s administrative fee is 8 percent.

“We encourage anyone who hasn’t made a donation to United Way to consider doing so,”Lighthizer-Schmidt said. “There are many programs in our community who rely on funding from United Way to provide their services.”

The local United Way, established 55 years ago, kicked off its 2013 campaign Oct. 5. It raised $1.03 million in 2012 and a record $1.04 million in 2011.

Donations may be sent to P.O. Box 605, Austin or dropped off at 301 N Main St.. For more information, call Lighthizer-Schmidt at 507-437-2313.

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