The recent cold snap is reminding many people of the important work done by charities across KELOLAND. But in spite of increasing needs, the United Way of the Black Hills is only slightly more than halfway to its annual fund raising goal, which could have an effect on other local organizations.
"It could be basic human needs, food, clothing, shelter, or toys for kids at Christmas time or Thanksgiving meal baskets. The list literally goes on and on," United Way of the Black Hills Executive Director Renee Parker said.
85 cents of every dollar donated to the organization goes directly to help those in need and supports 52 area charities.
"When people give to the United Way, they're giving to more than just that agency. They don't take very much money off the top' it's going right to the agencies and there's a lot of good ones," Salvation Army coordinator Major Jim Beardsley said.
But lately, donations have slowed down.
Currently, the United Way of the Black Hills is only at 56 percent of the fundraising goal for the year. It's something that could have a real impact on the people who rely on their services.
It could also hurt charities like the Salvation Army, which will begin its bell-ringing campaign this Friday and receives about a quarter of its funding from the United Way.
"Between the two, we've really gotta make all those goals if we're going to help the needy in this community," Beardsley said.
"You don't have to choose which organization needs it most. You don't have to write 52 checks, knowing that 52 charities really need your help. That one donation is really reaching out and helping so many people," Parker said.
Although fundraising efforts are more than $1,000,000 short of the goal, Parker is hopeful that enough people will step up to close the gap.
"I'm very, very genuinely proud of our communities all throughout South Dakota because people generally step up and do the right thing," Parker said.
Parker said that the fundraising shortfall would be even greater if not for the dedication of United Way volunteers.
For information on how you can donate or volunteer, visit the United Way of the Black Hills website.
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