United Way of Kent County (UWKC) has announced that it has achieved its 2019-2020 fund-raising goal of $235,000.
“We sincerely thank all of our donors. This community is so generous. We are so pleased,” said Beth Everett, Executive Director. “We were allowed to campaign on the campus of Washington College, and President Kurt Landgraf encouraged all employees to give and personally matched those donations. We are indebted to him for his wholehearted support, as well as to seven Kent County businesses that kindly sponsored workplace campaigns. We also appreciate the matching and in-kind contributions, and individual and corporate donations.” she added.
She noted that the organization has made progress in increasing donations resulting from workplace campaigns and has welcomed new businesses into the program. “We are also very lucky in Kent County to have CEOs who have supported the United Way of Kent County. It really helps when employees know the CEO is supportive of the United Way.”
Bill Harr, this year’s Fundraising Chair, noted that “the Comprehensive Needs Assessment initiated in 2017 by the UWKC brought the County and service providers some needed information on our shortfalls in services here on the Shore. As a result, the County has agreed to hire an employee to oversee the Housing and Transportation initiative. Successes like these inspire donors to help our future campaigns.”
United Way of Kent County strives to improve our community by building partnerships and bringing together diverse stakeholders from 28 agencies to focus on three impact areas: Health, Education, and Financial Stability. The program began in 1957 with a goal of $45,000 and six Member Agencies.The 2020-2021 campaign begins September 1, with a goal of $245,000. “Each year we look at what we were able to raise the year before and we raise it a little,” said Everett.
“Everything’s different this year,’ she added. “We’ve got some real challenges.”
“We receive about 30% of our donations through direct payroll deduction at most Kent County businesses, including Washington College. As a result of COVID-19, many of those businesses are going to be challenged, and some of them will not make it. There will be layoffs at some employers, and some companies will close,” noted Marty Knight, Board President.
According to Knight, “On the grant side, many of the organizations we help fund are forced to change the way they operate. And the community services they offer will be in higher demand. We are expecting our requests for funding to increase and the workplace contributions to decrease. In the meantime, United Way has been able to provide some emergency grants to those organizations responding directly to the COVID-19 crisis.”
The annual report will be completed in September and distributed to every household in Kent County. Donations may be made at any time via the website unitedwayofkentcounty,org or by mail to United Way of Kent County, P.O. Box 594, Chestertown, MD 21620.
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