United Way refocusing efforts for 2019

Jan. 15, 2019

By Brian Powers - bpowers@perutribune.com


After a disappointing fundraising campaign during 2018, those at the helm of the Miami County United Way are nothing short of optimistic for 2019, according to Executive Director Debi Wallick.

According to a press release from the Miami County United Way, the organization raised a total of $167,298, which was just over 88 percent of their $190,000 goal for last year.

The news was not unexpected, however.

“I knew going into the campaign there were other fundraisers that would impact our goal this year,” Wallick said.

According to Wallick, one of the biggest factors was the fundraising campaign for the new YMCA facility for Miami County, but those at the United Way knew that was coming. What did surprise them, however, was when Dukes Healthcare Foundation announced a $2.5 million matching grant.

“We didn’t know about the Dukes Foundation match,” she said. “That kind of blindsided us.”

Wallick pointed out that all of the organizations do great work around the community. She also noted the United Way has restructured a bit and will figure out their next steps soon.

“We have a new campaign chair in Amy Million from First Farmer’s Bank and Trust,” she said. “And we’re also quite thankful for the job Brooke Robertson and all the volunteers did in the amount of money that was raised for last year.”

The goal now is to meet and decide which avenues of approach the organization is wanting to take for the upcoming year. Wallick said there’s no specific monetary goal for 2019 as of yet, but that will be determined in February or March, once agencies have applied for funds.

“We’ll do as much as we can with what we did raise,” Wallick said. “We’ve got to find ways that are sustainable and still help those who need it in Miami County.”

Speaking of Miami County, Wallick reiterated that 100 percent of funds raised for the Miami County United Way stay in the communities they serve and go toward local agencies to help those in the county who need it most.

Wallick said there are two more agencies– St. Vincent De Paul and Mental Health America– which are intending to apply for funding for this year; both of which focus on much-needed services in Miami County, she said.

“We’re just so thankful for the generous donors who constantly have an open pocket for so many nonprofits that are doing such great work,” Wallick said.