PRINCETON — The Bureau County United Way has wrapped up its 2014 campaign with 80 percent of its $120,000 goal raised.
BCUW Executive Director Andrea Anderson calls her first-year campaign “a successful one.
“We did it. There were days when I didn’t know if I was coming or going, but to be able to serve the community… and make 80 percent of goal — not bad for just starting out last August,” she said.
Keeping peoples’ minds on the awareness of what the BCUW does and who it supports plus how 99 percent of the monies raised stay in the county are reasons behind why Anderson believes it was an effective campaign.
“You wouldn’t believe a county this size would have things like homeless and hungry, if it wasn’t for these 14 nonprofit agencies the BCUW supports. Where would they go? What would they do?” She questioned. “We’re keeping that message strong. This county needs these resources to survive and thrive, and without it, we would go the other way.”
As the campaign winds down, there will be some time for Anderson to sit down and begin setting her own agenda for the next campaign kickoff.
In the months ahead, she plans to meet with the directors of the health and human service agencies the BCUW serves, in order to get a better grasp on what they do and find ways to create even stronger partnerships. From there, she plans to hit the streets to help better educate the community on why it’s important to continue supporting BCUW in order to help keep the nonprofit agencies succeed.
“I think there is a misconception, from what I believe has transpired. Though the support was fantastic, I think the goal could be met more easily if people understood how this United Way model works to be successful,” she said. “The community has to understand our function, how we execute that function. We need to better educate and inform.”
Anderson said she feels most people connect the BCUW with the campaign thermometer, which stands on the corner lawn near the courthouse throughout the campaign season, however, have little knowledge of the meaning of the thermometer and what it’s gauging throughout the months.
Looking ahead, Anderson admits there are changes on the horizon.
“Each event now that I bring will be different in someway, somehow. It’s not going to be the same because I’ll have time now to put my own stamp on it,” she said.
Anderson also plans to put more effort in finding ways to help with the homelessness in the county. While there has been ongoing discussion with a local group on ways to help the homeless, she plans to take action this coming year.
“Right now we have no place for these people to go and sleep, and it’s real,” she said. “We needs to find a way to house and shelter these folks because everyone deserves dignity.”
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