United Way falling short of fundraising goals during tough economic times


United Way of Decatur and Mid Illinois hit a roadblock in its efforts to meet this year's fundraising goal.

Currently the United Way is $108,000 short. Without that money, thousands of people in Macon County could lose access to important services.

United Way supporters are a diverse group of people in the community and as more employees stand to lose their jobs, it is vital that this agency have the money to support them.

"Our programs span from healthcare to youth care to community services," said Denise Smith, United Way Executive Director.

So far this year, United Way has received request from 21 agencies to fund more than 40 programs, each one just as important as the other.

Programs like Dove Inc.'s fresh start, which provides meals for women at its shelter while at the same time teaching its clients important employment skills.

"It feels good to know that you're helping someone that you're giving them a skill to go back out into the world and share it with other people," said Jackie Evans, head training cook, Fresh Start.

Also Easter Seals, which provides a wide variety of programs, help both children and adults.

"In our therapy department, we have over 70-percent that have no insurance, government insurance and there would be no other services for them if they weren't able to come to Easter Seals," said Lori Brown, Vice President of Operations.

United Way has until March 31st to reach its goal. It hopes to do so with the help of the entire community and its media partners.

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