United Way still looking for funds

Monday, December 14, 2009
Ruth Ralph and David English

GREENCASTLE -- As the United Way of Putnam County campaign heads into the end of the year, funds are still needed to help support the 15 local agencies that count on receiving funds from United Way.

"Individual donations are coming in much slower than they did last year. We have had some great support from local companies," said Executive Director David English.

Buzzi ran an excellent campaign and provided the United Way with new campaign signs on the square and on the lawn of City Hall in Cloverdale.

"Thanks to Craig Chrispell, alternative fuel manager at Buzzi, and a couple of helpers our signs were renovated and posted," added English.

"We have also been very fortunate and have had excellent campaigns from Walmart Distribution, Transportation and the Store. We're very grateful for the corporate match, too," said English.

"One of the many goals of the United Way is to support the agencies that provide services to residents. The Red Cross is one of those agencies," explained English.

There is one family a month displaced by fire in Putnam County. The Red Cross steps in to help those families with basic necessities.

"It costs $600 per family. That is $7,200 a year that the Red Cross pays for just this one program. The funding they receive from us is only $6,000. That doesn't even begin to cover the cost of the fire program let alone any of their other programs," explained English.

Another organization that received funds from the United Way is Johnson Nichols Health Clinic. They provide health care services to families in Putnam and Owen counties by performing primary healthcare services to children.

They also provide family planning services such as The Women, Infants, Children's Supplemental Food Program (WIC) that provides nutritious foods and education to pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children up to the age of five.

"The program has changed and now we are able to give much better food to people. They get less milk and cheese and more vegetables and fruit. They get a coupon that gives them $10 for vegetables and fruit that they can choose. They can get wheat bread and much more nutritious food items," explained Ruth Ralph, Executive Director of the Clinic.

"I know things are tough for a lot of businesses, but I hope they will stop to count the many blessings they have and help us provide housing, food and jobs to as many people as possible this holiday season. A community is only as strong as the people who live in it," added English.

The other local agencies helped by United Way include Area 7 Agency on Aging, A-way Home Shelter, Putnam County Family Support Services Inc., Putnam County Youth Development Commission, Reading Improvement Center, Hope Haven Horse Farm, Mental Health America, Putnam County Chaplaincy Association, Putnam County Comprehensive Services, Putnam County Council on the Aging and Aged, Summer Enrichment Program and the YMCA of Clay County.

"This is Putnam County's United Way, it can only be as strong as the people here make it. The needs are great this year, greater than last year. I hope everyone will open their hearts and pocketbooks and help us make our goal of $175,000 for the people of Putnam County," concluded English.

Individuals, organizations or businesses interested in helping the United Way meet its goal can contact English at 653-5638 or by email at unitedway@airhop.com

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