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United Way sets heightened goals

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GOAL: Kyle Metzger,President and CEO of the United Way of Huntington County, presents the $590,000 goal for 2019.
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IMPACT: Orion McCormack presents the projected impact for the year 2028 in accordance with the new 3 percent initiative which will challenge donors to give 3 percent more each year.

by James Ehle - jehle@h-ponline.com

Staff, partners and campaign chairs for the United Way of Huntington County gathered to thank the community and share their goals for 2019 fundraising.

The United Way of Huntington County’s campaign goal for 2019 is $590,000, which is higher than last year’s goal. The organization raised $583,000 in 2018 and ended up growing that number to a more than $800,000 investment in the community through different initiatives.

“Last year we went up and this year our goal is higher than last year,” said United Way President and CEO Kyle Metzger. “And that is unusual anymore.”

Jim Scheiber, a campaign chair with Team Edward Jones, outlined that for every dollar invested in early education the return is $30. Every dollar invested in health and wellness is a $14 return. And every dollar invested in financial stability is a $5 return.

“This year’s campaign theme is “invest in our community” and when someone invests, they expect a return on that investment,” said Scheiber.

“On a more personal level think of the return for a child that furthers their education because of the mentoring, the tutoring, the encouragement that they received at the Boys and Girls Club,” Scheiber said. “Or a teenager that got his life back on track thanks to the time he spent at the Youth Services Bureau. The return on investment for those individuals is exponential.”

According to Orian McCormack, donor development coordinator for the United Way of Huntington County, the new initiative unveiled at the Live United luncheon was called the “three percent initiative,” which is an ask across the entire campaign for a three percent increase on donations in all unit areas - workforce, individual, and small business.

McCormack presented a projected impact for 2019 of what the United Way is able to provide to the community after an increase of three percent in fundraising. He then presented another slide that outlined the 2028 projected impact if the three percent increase trend should continue every year.

The three percent initiative is meant to provide funds for new programs and to expand the impact of current programs within the community.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this community is that it has passion and it has support,” McCormack said. “And if there’s any problem that comes into this community, we can solve it.”

Bobby Kemp, United Way of Huntington County President of Board of Directors, said the needs of the community are different than when the United Way organization began in 1956.

“One of the great things that I appreciate about the United Way is how purposeful and intentional we are at assessing the local needs and adapting to address those,” said Kemp. “We believe that right now, the best investments we can make in our community are in the areas of health and wellness, financial stability, and education.”

Many of the attendees at the luncheon which took place at the First Church of the Nazarene in Huntington were 2019 Pacesetters.

“These companies have committed themselves to supporting their local community and today we’d like to recognize them,” said John Nelson, a campaign chair with Team Edward Jones.

The companies recognized included Andrews Elementary, Huntington County Employees, Ecolab, First Federal Savings Bank, Heritage Pointe of Warren, Johnson Junction, Lake City Bank, Lincoln Elementary, Otis R. Boven Center, Our Sunday Visitor, Parkview Huntington Hospital, and Teachers Credit Union.