Riley Stamey, chairman of the board for United Way of McDuffie, Inc., announced the 2005 United Way goal in a board meeting held at Sun Trust Bank Friday.
"For the first time, we will have a goal of $100,000, and I feel sure that the generosity shown in the past by contributors will propel us over the top and more..." Mr. Stamey said.
Riley Stamey and Dot Knox kick off the local United Way effort.
This year's goal is up 10 percent from 2004. According to Charlie Bellman, executive director of United Way of McDuffie, last year's goal of $90,000 was met and exceeded by four thousand dollars.
United Way is an international non-profit organization that improves lives in local communities by gathering donated funds from individuals, businesses, clubs and organizations and distributing to agencies that benefit the needy.
This year, United Way of McDuffie is combined with Warren County. Agencies supported by United Way of McDuffie and Warren Counties are: Agape Outreach Ministries, American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club of Thomson, Georgia-Carolina Boy Scout Council, CSRA Girl Scout Council, GA-TASC, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Horsefeathers Therapeutic Riding, MANNA, 4-H, Special Olympics, Partners For Success, Salvation Army, Sand Hills Psychoeducational Center, Thomson-McDuffie County Recreation and Leisure Services.
"I think it is important because we are not just supporting charitable organizations, but we are supporting organizations in our community that make our community a better place to live," Mr. Stamey said.
As a charity, Mr. Bellman said United Way is accountable and efficient. Prior to goal-setting, a local committee meets with each agency to discuss how they spend their money, check for duplication of services, and look for unmet needs so "we can fill in the holes in the community."
"The funds stay here," said Dot Knox, treasurer. "Only a very small percentage is paid out for administration and campaign expenses. When people donate, their money goes where it needs to go."
Mrs. Knox said the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs are big contributors to the United Way campaign. The two clubs usually raise 35 percent of the funds needed.
The 2005 Board of Directors of United Way of McDuffie and Warren Counties are: Chairman Riley Stamey, Vice-Chairman Ron Shipman, Treasurer Dot Knox, Executive Director Charlie Bellmann, Shane Sanders, Julie Langham, Nettie Robertson, Robin Dudley, George Lokey, Pat Baston, Preston Newton, Bud Lunceford, Bob Wilson and Peggy Barmore.
Those wishing to donate to the United Way campaign may do so by sending a check or money order to P.O. Box 87, Thomson, GA 30814. The campaign runs until Dec. 15. For more information, call the United Way office at 597-8873.