For Hometown News
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- United Way of Indian River County will announce the amount raised by the annual fundraising campaign in early March. That leaves just a few weeks to meet the goal seen printed on thermometers around town of $2,525,000.
"It is vitally important that we raise these funds," said Amy Brunjes, campaign co-chairwoman. "So many in this community are counting on us. Several donors have stepped up and increased their gifts, so, if everyone who has contributed in the past but hasn't donated this year gifts the same amount or more, we'll be in good shape."
United Way is not out to make goal just to say they've made goal. United Way wants to make goal because 21.8 percent of county children live in poverty, higher than state or federal numbers; because those under 18 without health insurance make up 20.4 percent of local children, again, higher than the state average; statistically, of those who are not proficient readers by third grade, only 1 in 7 will ever attain full grade reading literacy. The list of statistics showing desperate needs for people in all age categories is a long one.
United Way wants to make goal because, thanks to past successful campaigns, certified tax preparers brought $616,853 back to county residents as a free service to those in need of help in 2012; because FamilyWize discount prescription cards, provided free through United Way, have saved over 14,000 county residents more than $1,300,000 on filled prescriptions; and because 1,400 children in Vero Beach, Sebastian and Fellsmere attended programs last year focusing on character development, education, and health and life skills to prepare them in every way to be successful. The list of statistics showing the changes made in people's lives in Indian River County, thanks to United Way, is also a long one.
United Way fundraising doesn't just come from workplaces, more than 50 percent of the campaign is contributed by individuals including 82 new individual donors. The more people know about United Way, the more reasons they find to support this organization that has had its finger on the pulse of human services in this community for over 50 years. It's a trusted name, and this year Forbes named United Way an "All-Star Charity" based on the organization's dedication to quality programs, community impact and organizational efficiency.
The Alexis de Tocqueville Society, which consists of those giving $10,000 and more, has welcomed five new members this year. There are 28 new leadership donors, (those who give $1,000 and more), 11 of those are donors who made an increase in their gift to bring them up to the leadership level.
Loyal contributors, (those who have given to United Way for 10 years or more), along with Leadership and ADT donors, were recognized and thanked at a private reception in January.
The top five workplace campaigns in combined corporate/employee contributions have already been announced. Publix Supermarkets continues as number one with a pledge of $372,397, up 19 percent from last year, followed by Indian River School District, Indian River Medical Center, Rossway Moore Swan and Piper Aircraft.
One hundred percent participation in a workplace campaign was also made public and met by the following employee groups; Brown & Brown Insurance; CenterState Bank; Childcare Resources of Indian River County; Donadio and Associates; Gifford Youth Activity Center; Indian River County Property Appraiser's Office; Indian River County Supervisor of Elections; Johns' Island Real Estate; Kmetz, Nuttall, Elwell, Graham CPAs; Morgan, Jacoby, Thurn, Boyle & Associates; Rehmann; Rossway Moore Swan; SafeSpace; Seacoast National Bank; Substance Awareness Center of Indian River County; Vero Insurance; and United Way of Indian River County.
For more information, call (772) 567-8900 or visit www.unitedwayirc.org.