That's because 873 individuals ponied up donations of $52 apiece and helped raise more than $2.1 million during last year's fundraiser. United Way dollars help support 60 health and human service programs of 40 local nonprofit agencies.
While the goal was set at $2.3 million, donations still reached 2 percent higher than last year, said Philip Koning, West Michigan Community Bank's president and community campaign chairman.
In the hours leading up to a Thursday evening donor party, United Way officials showcased successes over the last year. Among them: 299 workplace campaigns and 7,893 volunteers who provided 145,348 hours of work — an estimated value of $3.2 million.
Volunteers are a critical element of helping others, Patrick Moran, Greater Ottawa County United Way president, said.
In Ottawa County, 20 companies raised nearly $1.4 million — 8.5 percent more than last year. Coopersville-based Flextronics Inc. improved giving by 1,000 percent, from about $3,000 last year to $30,000 this year.
In general, about 40,000 workers in Ottawa County made donations, up by 20 percent compared to last year. Individual gifts outside of work decreased 5 percent.