Pike Co. United Way discusses fund raisers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 15, 2000

Staff Writer

Representatives of the Pike County United Way agencies met Monday afternoon to discuss how they can help raise more money for the local charities.

Operating on a $100,000 budget, the Pike County United Way Board recently had to prorate funding to its 15 agencies by 50 percent because fund-raising efforts were not successful this year. Plans are to send out those prorated checks at the end of August, said Jane Thrash, secretary/bookkeeper for the United Way.

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"Instead of cutting, we were hoping we could raise $130,000, but we weren’t able to," Thrash said.

Last year, about $97,000 was raised and, this year, the amount pledged was only $76,000.

"The last two years, it’s been a struggle to meet the campaign," Thrash said.

But, this situation is not new to the local United Way, which has been operating in proration since 1996, Thrash said.

As a former educator and the current community coordinator for the American Red Cross, Thrash understands how much the United Way agencies assist the community.

But, she said, citizens of Pike County seem apathetic.

"The don’t realize how much these agencies do until they need the resources," Thrash said.

Fund-raising efforts for other causes, such as the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and March of Dimes, appear to have hurt the United Way. Thrash said those are all very worthy causes, but so are those funded by the United Way.

In Pike County, the United Way provides funding to Alabama Easter Seals Society, American Red Cross, Boy Scouts, East Central Mental Health-Mental Retardation, Girl Scouts, Pike County 4-H Clubs, RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), the House of Ruth, Pike County Christmas Program, Troy Charity League, Salvation Army, Pike County YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pike County, Colley Senior Complex and the Pike County Fire fighters Association.

"We’re the pillars," Thrash said of the agencies that offer assistance in bad times and good. "We as agencies, need to make Pike County aware of what we do. We’re all a part of the puzzle.

"We also need to make people realize they are investing in the future by becoming a part of the Pike County United Way," Thrash said.

One of the points she and agency representatives made over and over during the Monday meeting was the fact all the money raised in Pike County stays in Pike County.

In an effort to get out the word about all the agencies’ programs and services, an event is being planned for Sept. 20, which is the time for kicking off the annual fund-raising campaign. The location has not been finalized, yet, but anyone from area businesses or the community, in general, will be able to come between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to learn about the United Way agencies and how they can help.

"We’re all in need," said Thrash, who also operates the local Red Cross office.

Thrash can be reached at 566-0632 or 735-2004.

Donations to the Pike County United Way can be sent to P.O. Box 204, Troy, AL 36081.