Fayette County’s helping agencies need help in raising money, says United Way

Fri, 12/19/2008 - 2:50pm
By: The Citizen

The good news ... United Way in Fayette County is currently at 75 percent of their $285,000 fundraising goal.

The bad news ... if the other 25 percent is not raised, a large number of the not-for-profits serving Fayette County will be negatively impacted in their ability to serve the number of people seeking their services.

“The shift in the economy has touched all sectors of our society, says Carolyn Proffitt, Executive director of United Way in Fayette and Coweta counties, and at the same time, nonprofit organizations providing human services have been overwhelmed with the demand for their services.”

The first week of December 2008, United Way surveyed nonprofits in our community and found the following:

· 80 percent of nonprofits have experienced an increase in demand for their services, but only 24 percent are able to meet that need.

· This increased need is coming from clients traditionally assisted and new populations. At least 17 percent reported more families, working people, seniors and young adults seeking help.

· Nonprofits are pulling out all of the stops to be able to serve their clients; however, the need is great. 60 percent have already reduced non-personnel expenses such as office supplies, and about 20 percent have reduced staff hours, laid off staff or reduced services.

· An overwhelming 75 percent of local nonprofits anticipate an increase in the number of people who will need their services in the next six months.

“With an increase in demand for services from both traditional and new clients and a decrease in available funds, our community partners are concerned with their ability to continue serving those in desperate need,” explains Proffitt.

Scott Sargeant, radio personality with 92.5 FM The Bear, High Octane Radio and United Way in Fayette Campaign Chair explains, “every dollar of the $285,000 raised in Fayette County stays in Fayette County. In addition, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta contributes an additional $400,000 to Fayette – a total investment of $685,000. These dollars are invested in United Way in Fayette grantee partners – a group of 11 nonprofits which have demonstrated excellent financial stewardship, are serving a significant number of people in need and are able to track and report the number of individuals and families served.

“The dollars are also invested in United Way’s 211 call center. Every resident of Fayette County can call 211, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week and tell the call center operator exactly what the need is. The operator will then connect the caller directly with the resources in Fayette County to assist them in solving their problem.”

United Way’s 211 help line, reported a 37 percent increase in need-based calls from Fayette County for rent/mortgage, utility and food assistance. This increase is from November of 2007 to November of 2008.

For more than a century, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta has continued to mobilize people in our community to help tackle the issues that are too big for anyone to solve alone. What makes United Way unique is how it helps our community work together to make lasting impact on tough community problems that take all of us to solve.

“We have a critical need right now, and that is for the community to continue to support United Way in Fayette County,” says Carolyn Proffitt. “With the county LIVING UNITED, Fayette County nonprofit grantee partners can continue to meet the needs of the community and help community members rebuild and restore their lives.”

“Last year, over 14,000 Fayette County citizens benefited from United Way. We need everyone’s help to ensure we can serve the number of people we did last year, but the unfortunate reality is that this number will be much higher this year.”

United Way in Fayette County grantee partners include the Association of Village PRIDE, Boy Scouts, Flint River Council, Girl Scouts, Pine Valley Council, ExceptionalOps, Fayette County Board of Education MENTOR program, Fayette Family YMCA, Fayette Samaritans, Fayette Senior Services Meals on Wheels and Fayette Senior Services Alternative Transportation program, Fayette Youth Protection Home, the Joseph Sams School and the Real Life Center.

To contribute to United Way in Fayette County, please go to www.unitedwayatlanta.org and click on the left tab, “Give – Invest to Make a Difference” or call the United Way in Fayette County office at 770-254-3755.

For further information, contact Carolyn Proffitt at 770-252-4908..

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