The Greene County United Way has touched many lives over the years.
Money isn't always easy to come by for 501c3 organizations and agencies (nonprofit), and many turn to the GCUW for help.
Now, the GCUW is asking Greene Countians for help.
The GCUW board has reached a crossroads and must decide soon whether to continue or give up its chapter.
The board has set a Dec. 3 deadline to decide if it will even have a campaign in 2008. The 2007 campaign hasn't come close to reaching its goal.
The board set $38,000 as its 2007 goal, and so far between $18,000-$19,000 has been donated.
That's a shame.
"It's the lack of response from the public and giving of any donations," GCUW President Sara Williams said.
Williams said businesses are hit up almost daily to help support a community cause or organization.
"The business are hit very hard by every group and organization wanting them to sponsor teams and such, and it drains them," Williams said. "There's only so much in a budget for that."
Williams hopes individuals will dig into their pockets and help pull the GCUW back from the brink of shutting down. She said people can make single donations, or they will set up a payment plan.
"We'd be glad to work with them ... whatever works for their budget," Williams said.
Williams has been a board member for 10 years, and she can remember when the GCUW helped 21 organizations and agencies. That number has dwindled to 14.
"We can't even get any of those (organizations or agencies who receive money) to serve on the board. They'll say they'll serve, show up for one or two meetings, and not show up again," Williams said.
"That type of participation doesn't help us at all. Four or five people on the board can't run it."
Williams added that a normal board is between 12 and 15 members, "but right now we have six active members," she said.
One of the problems is that some in the county don't even realize what the GCUW does.
"The Greene County United Way is not funded by a government agency or by the NFL as represented on television, but totally by donations from our own local citizens and businesses," a news release from the GCUW states.
"These funds are then distributed to 10 qualifying Greene County agencies, organizations, teams and troops who serve our area children. Four funded agencies assist our seniors. In some way, at least one of these agencies serves a member of every county family."
Between now and Dec. 3, Williams and the board hope Greene Countians step up and keep the GCUW from folding.
"This is our push," Williams said. "We will send letters to all the agencies and ask for their involvement."
If the outlook doesn't improve, the GCUW board will have no choice but to close its chapter.
If it comes to that, Williams said, "It will be one more full year before it's actually dissolved."
If you would like to donate or offer your services to help the Greene County United Way, please contact Williams at 384-4431 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Chris is the general manager/editor of the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com