The United Way thermometer is going up.
Thanks to the efforts of several organizations and companies and even a few school children, the United Way of Richmond County is that much closer to reaching its goal of raising $250,000 by next March.
The United Way keeps the community updated on the status of its annual fund raising with the use of several thermometers displayed on signs throughout the community.
The start of the campaign year was March 16, 2012, but the campaign officially kicked-off in September with United Way’s annual Day of Caring. The current campaign runs through March 15, 2013, according to Michelle Parrish, executive director of the United Way of Richmond County.
Right now, the thermometer is at 40 percent of the goal, which equals more than $100,000.
The thermometers, which are located at Rockingham City Hall, Family Pharmacy on U.S. 1 North and at FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital, all show the same amount of money.
Adding to that growing total, and moving the thermometer ever higher, were several recent fund raising events around the county.
ITG Burlington Industries just completed its employee workplace United Way campaign and raised more than $16,800, while Piedmont Natural Gas held its annual chili cook-off Dec. 6. There were 10 chili entries from various employees at Piedmont Natural Gas who entered the cook-off. The chili cook-off helped raise more than $150. Issac English won first place, Joel Fox came in second and D. J. King came in third.
Mrs. Jo Geanes’ third block class at Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy helped the United Way by raising more than $205 recently.
The students, who made dough ornaments, named their fund raising event “Students helping Students.” The students designated their funds to the Back Pack Pals and packed 170 bags for the program.
The funds raised by these events go to support United Way charities.
These charities are Sandhills Children Center, Cordova School, Richmond County 4-H Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Leak Street Alumni, Back Pack Pals, Richmond Co. Aging Services, Samaritan Colony, Richmond County Literacy Council, Richmond Christian Counseling, Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, New Horizons Life & Family Services, Salvation Army, Rockingham Rescue Squad, and Our Daily Bread.
Last year, in the 2011-2012 campaign, United Way investments helped 9,950 individuals and more than 76,000 were served. Currently, the 2012-2013 United Way campaign has helped more than 7,000 individuals and has assisted them more than 40,000 times, said Parrish.
For more information on how to participate with the United Way, contact Parrish at 910-997-2173 or 910-206-2909.
If you would like to make an individual donation you can mail the donation to The United Way at PO Box 153, Rockingham, NC 28380.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.