United Way’s fundraising campaign falling short, seeking donations

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 4:25 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - An organization that helps dozens of non-profits across Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties is looking to the community for help in return. The United Way of Northern New York’s end-of-year campaign is falling short and it may mean tough decisions.

Hundreds of kids enjoy the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club every day. And that number is getting bigger.

“Yesterday afternoon, we had 186 kids here in the afternoon. Those are our biggest numbers in our almost 59-year history,” said Tom Luckie, executive director, Boys and Girls Club of Ogdensburg.

A big supporter of the club: the United Way of Northern New York, which helped pay for the club’s groceries.

“What our United Way funding is for is to help some of our most needy kids and families with food. Just the basics. Whatever the allotment from the United Way is, we take care of the families and kids that really need it,” said Luckie.

But this time, the United Way needs the community.

A big portion of the United Way’s end-of-year campaign, called “Spark Hope, Live United,” comes from local workplaces with employees donating small portions of their payroll to donate to the non-profit. But CEO Dawn Cole says COVID may have hindered that initiative.

“We’re finding that many of our employers are a little bit short-handed, workloads have shifted, and we’re worried that our campaign may fall short of its goal,” she said.

The goal is to raise $550,000, but so far the campaign has raised $120,000, which means there’s a lot of work to be done before the new year.

“The north country is truly very fortunate to have such a strong, effective network of nonprofit organizations working together and serving a number of vital needs. However, we can’t do that without the support of the entire community,” said Cole.

Cole says no matter how much is raised, the United Way is still committed to donating to all of the organizations. The campaign ends December 31st.

For more information on how to donate, click here.