By Sue Moore
Each year the drive for United Way (UW) donations reaches for a new plateau of giving to help those in need. The year 2013 is no different according to Laura Howard who coordinates the Vicksburg area portion of the campaign.
A big change for the GKUW agency is its joining with the Battle Creek area to become United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region (UWBCKR). That doesn’t change anything for the Vicksburg effort as in past years, 25 percent of all local money raised comes back into the community with the other 75 percent going toward agencies in Kalamazoo County that serve the Vicksburg area, she explained.
Of the $37,288 that was raised in Vicksburg in 2012, $14,214 was allocated by the local board to the South County Community Service (SCCS) agency, Boy Scout troop 251, the community education scholarship program run by the Vicksburg Schools, the summer reading program run by the Vicksburg District Library, Generous Hands and Vicksburg Rocket football.
With the local allocation from the Vicksburg United Way, SCCS receives an additional allocation from UWBCKR and designations from area payroll collections to provide about $122,000 or 51 percent of its operating budget. SCCS refers clients to most other United Way funded agencies which benefits South County residents as well.
.Letters of solicitation went out to Vicksburg area residents and businesses in September with the end date hoped for on November 15. A raffle drawing for those who qualify by adding $50 or over , to their pledge will be held after 5 p.m. with the winner announced on Dec. 11. The committee is working hard to get to the goal of $37,300 for 2013 according to Howard with follow up letters and phone calls going out the end of October. The local campaign is about half-way there she said with $21,325 already raised with the school personnel pledging over half of that along with the Vicksburg Foundation.