Good morning. Welcome to our Live Chat with Renee Parker, director of United Way of the Black Hills.
Good morning, Renee. Please explain what the United Way is and what it does every year.
United Way of the Black Hills is an organization that raises money for 51 non-profit organizations in our area. We connect the organizations and work to solve community problems.
Are most of your contributions through employee payroll deductions?
More than half of the donations that are collected are given through employee payroll deductions.
How is the United Way fundraising campaign for 2012 going so far?
To date we have raised $2,050,688 (89%) of the fundraising goal and have until year end to meet goal.
That's not a lot of time left to meet your goal. Do you have any upcoming promotional or fundraising events?
We are all working very hard to contact individuals and businesses who have not yet given to let them know how important it is to give.
United Way of the Black Hills has expanded into Sturgis, Northern Hills and Southern Hills. How have those communities responded to the United Way?
All communities have really embraced the United Way and have had very successful efforts in each of the area. Need has no boundary, and we are priviledged to
work with such outstanding agency directors, staff and volunteers throughout the hills area.
To clarify, money raised or pledged to the Sturgis United Way, Northern Hills or Southern Hills goes to United Way agencies within those communities. The funding stays in the communities helping local nonprofits and charities. Correct?
Yes. We know that when people give, most want to help people in their own communities. Donations stay where they are raised to help those communities solve problems in their own area. Currently there are 33 organizations that benefit from the Rapid City area United Way campaign
, 21 in Sturgis, 24 in the Northern HIlls and 22 in the Southern Hills.
Sorry, Renee. We seem to have a technical problem here, and one of your earlier responses didn't come through.
You are in contact with your many United Way agencies. What are you hearing about funding needs?
Needs have been widespread. Most all of our United Way agencies have received significant funding cuts from state, local and federal government at a time when the need has never been greater
. Meeting and exceeding our United Way goals in each area will help the organizations continue to serve those who need help the most.
Thanks, Renee. Is the demand increasing for services provided by United Way agencies?
Most of the agencies have seen an increase in the number of people requesting assistance. It is always interesting to note that most of those requesting service are employed, but at a wage that makes it difficu
lt to make ends meet.
Renee, we have a comment from a viewer.
People may go to your website at unitedwayblackhills.org for more information. How else can our readers contact the United Way for information on making a donation or pledge?
I am grateful every year that people give so much to help the non-profit organizations in our Black Hills communities. Many of the people we have helped want to reach out and give the same assistance to someone else.
Readers can contact the United Way at 343-5872 or go to www.unitedwayblackhills.org for more information. Many people make a pledge and ask us to bill them throughout 2012. We also accept credit card donations. All are very much appreciated!
Thanks, Renee. Do you have anything else you'd like to add before we conclude our interview?
A most sincere thank you to all who give and volunteer to help people in need in our community. We are blessed to live in an area where people look out for one another. Our deadline for the campaign is 12/31/11. We encourage people to reach out and give so that we can continue to serve those who need help the most. Thanks so much!
Renee Parker, director of United Way of the Black Hills, has been gracious enough to join us today. Thank you, Renee. Good luck in meeting your funding goals.
Thanks so much! I wish you all a very happy holiday season!