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United Way makes final push to attain goal

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GREENFIELD — After reaching essentially 99 percent of its fundraising goal this year, the United Way of Central Indiana’s Hancock County office is looking for a little nudge to get over the top by Friday.

The local office is $4,300 off its ambitious goal of $586,000, and though a handful of the county’s biggest employers have done a good part of the heavy lifting, local officials say now is when small donations can make a big difference.

“This is a chance for people who may have been planning on making a donation but just didn’t get around to it to help us make our goal,” said Paula Jarrett, Hancock County Area director for United Way of Central Indiana.

The drive, which runs essentially throughout the year, officially kicked off last August and runs through March 1, Jarrett said.

According to the local office, much of the nearly $582,000 raised to date in Hancock County has come from six companies that have traditionally been leaders in United Way contributions: Elanco, Hancock Regional Hospital, Covance Inc., Keihin, Greenfield Banking Co. and Hancock Physician Network, with smaller businesses and individuals contributing as well.

This year’s goal is an 8 percent increase over last year, and local officials say they are gratified by the community’s response in the face of a still-recovering economy.

“Actually, our contributions are up, and we felt pretty good about reaching 99 percent of our goal,” said fundraising chairman Jeff Somers, vice president of Ameriana Bank’s cash management services. “If we can just dig a little harder, we can get there.”

One bright spot down the campaign’s final stretch is a forthcoming announcement of Ameriana Bank’s corporate contribution, Somers said.

Hancock County is one of six counties in the United Way’s Central Indiana district, working with 98 human services agencies to provide a host of services to area families.

According to the agency, last year more than $600,000 in services were provided by United Way partner agencies to Hancock County residents, which is one reason the county stepped up its campaign, Somers said.

“I’ve been involved with United Way for eight or nine years now, and it’s always struck me from the very beginning how Hancock County uses more of the services than the money it takes in,” Somers said.

United Way supports a variety of partner agencies in the county including the Boys and Girls Club, Hancock County Senior Services and Meals on Wheels. It also supports programs like ReadUP and Youth as Resources.

United Way programs also focus on early childhood development, school readiness and parent involvement.

“It’s hard to be this close to the goal and not ask the community to help us get over the top.” Jarrett said. “No donation is too small.”

Residents wishing to make a contribution to this year’s campaign can send a check to United Way, P.O. Box 714, Greenfield, IN 46140.

To establish company campaign or to learn more about other giving options, contact Jarrett at (317) 467-2346 or by email at hancock@uwci.org.

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