LAURINBURG — Bringing its 2015 fundraising campaign to a close just under the New Year’s Eve wire, United Way of Scotland County surpassed its goal to log its first $300,000 year in a decade.
The organization, which will forward the monies raised to 19 nonprofit organizations in the county, set a $260,000 goal for the 2015 campaign.
But in late December a $52,089 contribution from Hanesbrands, Inc. in Laurel Hill, the campaign’s top 2015 donor, brought the total to $304,000.
“We were praying that we would get where we needed to be and it was amazing every week how those numbers kept increasing,” said Amanda Dixon, who chaired the campaign alongside Carol Nichols. “As we went and talked to different businesses the buy-in was just unbelievable — we were completely amazed by everybody’s contributions and support.”
Scotland County’s United Way chapter was first organized as the United Way of Caring in 1953, collecting $17,678 that year. The organization’s fundraising apex came in 1998 with a total of $586,979 raised.
United Way has not raised more than $300,000 since 2005, when the campaign exceeded $320,000. The following year contributions fell to just over $200,000 and the campaign has gradually set its sights higher in each succeeding year.
The organization accepts applications from Scotland County nonprofits every spring for the following year of funding. Agency representatives are interviewed by a committee, which determines how much the United Way will try to raise for each nonprofit based on the priorities and programs proposed. Agencies may not use United Way funding to pay for personnel.
That committee will reconvene to determine how funds over and above the $260,000 goal will be allocated.
“We have just done tremendously and I’m very grateful to the community for their support,” Nichols said.
The number two donor in the recently-completed campaign was Scotland Health Care System, which raised $50,254 from among its staff members.
“We have a lot of caring folks here, we have a lot of different businesses and industries who want to make a difference,” said Dixon, pointing out that several industries match the donations pledged by their employees.
“Every little bit helps, and it’s a way that everybody, regardless of your lifestyle or how much money you make, can give back to the community and see your dollars at work.”
With 90 percent of funds raised distributed to local agencies, United Way of Scotland County benefits the American Red Cross of Scotland County, Cape Fear Council of Boy Scouts of America, Church Community Services, Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center of Scotland County, Friends of Scotland Enterprises, Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines, Habitat for Humanity of Scotland County, In As Much, Scotland Community Health Clinic, Scotland County Firefighter’s Association, Scotland County 4-H, Scotland County Humane Society, Scotland County Literacy Council, Scotland County NAACP ACT-SO Youth Council, Scotland County Safety Town, Scotland County Senior Games, Scotland County Special Olympics, Scotland Family Counseling Center, and Scots for Youth.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.