By TYLER MASK
If there was one word that could best describe the holiday season, it would be giving.
Each year, people and organizations from across the globe work together to make sure that people from all walks of life are served.
Drawing things back to the home front, the community of Palo Pinto County has worked diligently this year to team up and serve the locals in need. United Way of Palo Pinto County is one of the local initiatives that works hard each year, especially during the holiday season to fund raise so they can give back year round.
With the economy still in a small rut, giving has been hard on many people, even in 2013. However, during an economic downturn, the needs of the people go up as well, so every dollar raised by charitable organizations must be stretched to meet the needs of the people.
This year in particular has been somewhat interesting for United Way of Palo Pinto County. Generally, the holiday fundraising campaign kicks off during the month of September and goes through the month of October; however, this year, United Way had a few curve balls thrown in the mix.
In August of 2013, United Way hired on a new executive director, Marily Blair, which was right at the beginning of their fundraising campaign.
Although the new executive director was met with much cheer, it was a strange time to have to hire a new executive director, who is key to the organization. Blair notes, “I was kind of thrown in at the beginning of fundraising this last year, so it has been a big learning curve.” She goes on to say “I have really enjoyed it, but I came in at a busy time.”
This year’s goal for United Way of Palo Pinto County was $80,000. Total donations fell just short of that goal.
Since the executive director was new to the organization, she did not have time to plan any major events like United Way has done in the past; therefore, much of what United Way’s fundraising depended on was smaller events this year.
Blair states, “just from talking to various businesses and other charitable organizations, a lot of things have been down this year.”
During the month of December, Blair met with several different companies and was able to secure some donations that way. However, events where individual people could come and contribute were very few during December, so most of the donations that came in during the final month of 2013 were corporate.
In regards to the giving spirit of the people of Mineral Wells, Blair has nothing but positive things to say. She notes, “Mineral Wells is very supportive as a whole.” Blair goes on to say that the schools and businesses in particular have been key contributors to United Way.
Although Mineral Wells is a strong contributor, there still seems to be room for Palo Pinto County to grow. One of Blair’s key goals is to rally the entire community of Palo Pinto County and get everyone in the County involved.
So, how are donations used once everything has been accounted for? One-hundred percent of what United Way raises is distributed back to the community and helps support our partner agencies.
Concerning 2014’s fundraising, Blair is very excited. She notes, “I have lots of different ideas for next year.”
Nevertheless, if you would like to give to United Way of Palo Pinto County this year, do not wait, United Way graciously accepts donations year round.
In order to get in touch with United Way of Palo Pinto County, contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (940) 325-4848 or simply stop in at 301 N.W. 1st Avenue, Mineral Wells, TX 76068.
By TYLER MASK
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