The work of The United Way of East Mississippi was the subject of a town meeting Tuesday night on FOX Meridian.
The organization is at 70 percent of its $900,000 goal for 2008. Reaching that goal, which would mean full funding for its 17 member agencies, is the gold level. Silver is $800,000; bronze is $700,000.
But the fundraising campaign is nearing its end, and time is running out to "go for the gold". The community's help is still needed.
"You never know when you or someone in your family will need these services," said Linda Waters of Atmos Energy, one of the panel members for the town hall meeting.
The United Way has only three staff members. The rest are volunteers.
The agency's Janie Brown said the town meeting's greatest goal is educating the public about what its agencies do, the services it provides to people who live here.
The agencies provide disaster services, such as the Red Cross, but others serve all segments of the community, like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
American Red Cross - Key Chapter
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Boy Scouts of America
Boys & Girls Club
Community of Hope Tutoring Program
Foster Grandparent Program
Habitat for Humanity
Hope Village for Children
Meals on Wheels Program
Meridian Speech & Hearing Center
Rebuilding East Mississippi (REM)
Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
The George T. "Bubba" Hampton True Friends Endowment was established by The United Way board of directors in March 2006 to allow funds to be contributed to a special account to offset operational expenses. When the endowment reaches a high-enough level, it will fund the approximately 12 percent of donations that go to administrative costs. It will allow even more money to go the organizations it supports.
You may contact The United Way of East Mississippi and West Alabama
at: 2003 23rd Avenue, Meridian, Miss. 39301 OR P.O. Box 5376
Meridian, Miss. 39302