Walker County supporters of United Way are seeking to start a "change reaction" with a $1,080,000 fundraising goal."We know that we live in a fallen, broken world, but our United Way is trying to put …
Walker County supporters of United Way are seeking to start a "change reaction" with a $1,080,000 fundraising goal.
"We know that we live in a fallen, broken world, but our United Way is trying to put some cement around that fallen broken world, and it's happening because of the great work that you all do here in Walker County," Alan Register, chairman of the 2018 United Way of Central Alabama campaign, said at a kickoff luncheon held in Jasper on Thursday.
Britton Lightsey, Alabama Power Company's countywide manager, is serving as Walker County's campaign chairman.
The theme for the current campaign is "Be the Change."
United Way of Central Alabama is expected to invest more than $1.2 million in 14 agencies with programs in the county this year. Those agencies include American Red Cross, The Arc of Walker County, Beacon House, Daybreak, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama and Salvation Army.
"We are a receiver county, which means we receive more than we give back to United Way," Lightsey said.
Lightsey described the $1,080,000 fundraising goal as "aggressive" but said he is confident that the county will exceed it by working together.
The United Way of Alabama's fundraising goal for the year is $38 million.
"I don't want you to think about it in terms of raising X amount of dollars. We're not just trying to raise $38 million; what we're trying to do is raise the next dollar because every single dollar that we raise matters," Register said.
According to a brochure handed out at the luncheon, $5 provides 40 meals to people in need, $25 provides a book bag with five books to a pre-K student, $75 provides one day of services for an adult with intellectual disabilities and $100 provides basic household items to help a homeless veteran transition to stable housing.
Register pointed out that the agency not only provides funding to worthy programs working in communities but also provides 15 direct services.
An example of such a service is Priority Veteran, which provides veterans with intensive one-on-one assistance to locate stable permanent housing and links them to resources to gain the skills and knowledge to help them remain financially stable.
Ninety cents of every dollar given to United Way is spent on services, while only 10 cents is spent on overhead, according to Register.
The average for overhead ratio of United Ways throughout the country is 15 percent, according to Register.
More than 55,000 donors representing around 800 companies gave to United Way of Central Alabama each year.
United Way of Central Alabama is in the 49th largest metropolitan area in the country and yet is the 15th largest United Way.
"We perform at 3.5 times what we should perform at. Why? I believe it is because we live in a 'brothers keepers' community. Where we live, we don't accept seeing our neighbor fail. That's not how we view life," Register said.