The United Way of South Central Oklahoma’s campaign wrap-up wasn’t quite the end of the story after all, as final donations have boosted their total, setting a new record for the UW branch.
As of December 31, final donations from partners brought the total to $988,405, $138,405 over their goal for the campaign. Executive Director tobi daniel Ervin said she was surprised by the number.
“It’s very exciting,” Ervin said. “It blows up because we don’t ever know what to expect, but to be able to do this at this time, with kind of a tough economy, is significant. It shows people care about their community and they go that extra mile.”
Ervin said this year marked the start of partnerships with Catholic Charities, The Ministerial Alliance of Marshall County and Lighthouse Behavioral Wellness Centers.
“We have grown in the number of partner agencies and our total number of individual donors,” Ervin said.
Ervin said in 2018, UWOSCO plans to try and boost awareness of United Way’s presence in places where it might not be as obvious. Ervin said United Way is relatively visible in places like Carter County, but less so in areas like Johnston County.
“There is a presence there too, but you just don’t see the logo everywhere and we want to help address that,” Ervin said.
Ervin said UWOSCO also plans to focus more on the needs of senior citizens, particularly those who are disabled or veterans.
“The reality is, it’s very difficult to survive now if disability is your sole income,” Ervin said. “Those groups don’t always have access to easy transportation, but their needs are just as important as the kids in the schools and everyone else.”