United Way Kicks Off Fundraising Campaign

The United Way of Monroe County kicks off its 2011-2012 community fundraising campaign Friday afternoon with a banquet in Memorial Stadium.

United Way of Monroe County’s executive director Barry Lessow says demand is increasing for local agencies. Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard has seen a 22% increase in demand for food and phone calls to the 211 service request hotline have increased by 18%.

Lessow also added that the state of our economy impacts the need for charitable organizations.

“Like everywhere in the country, Bloomington and Monroe County, South Central Indiana, are feeling the same sorts of things that we are seeing nationally,” Lessow said. “And certainly we are seeing increase in demand.”

Lessow says non-profits mostly rely on donations from individuals to meet these demands.

“Non-profits are dependent in a large part on grants, in some cases on service fees, but frankly for the most part it’s gonna be donations, it’s donations from individuals,” Lessow said.

Lessow says that other fundraising sources fluctuate with the state of the economy.

Friday’s keynote speaker, IU Head basketball coach Tom Crean, says that whether in basketball or volunteering, it’s important to start with ‘the end’ in mind.

“I think any time we can get even more involved and remind people why they do it, that’s important,” Crean said.

United Way’s community volunteering events begin this weekend.

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