United Way tallied just over $1.9 million in pledges and donations as of Thursday, which puts the campaign at 83 percent of its $2.3 million goal. The red checkmarks are going up on the 80-percent boxes on the campaign thermometer signs throughout the county.
“With just over a month left in this campaign, we’re hoping that Ottawa County will continue this trend of generosity and help us to go the distance,” said Scott Remenschneider, chairman of the 2011-12 Community Campaign.
Remenschneider said donations from workplace campaigns are trending up 6 percent over last year.
“We knew at the start of this campaign that $2.3 million was an ambitious goal, but we also knew that the people of Ottawa County would respond generously if they knew what a difference it could make,” he said. “Because our citizens support the annual campaign, we as a community are improving the health, education and financial stability of tens of thousands of our neighbors. If everyone gives a little, we can do a lot.”
“Everyday Hero” in full swing
In January, the local United Way launched a new “Everyday Hero” initiative to “raise” 2,000 new donors of $50 each.
Greater Ottawa County United Way President Patrick Moran explained that an “Everyday Hero” is someone who gives or pledges $1 a week to United Way’s campaign. The pledge can be fulfilled anytime in 2012, but it must be received before March 16 to be counted toward the 2011-12 campaign goal.
This “campaign within a campaign” is being promoted through traditional and online marketing, social media, and special events; and to date more than 100 first-time donors have “joined the movement” as “everyday heroes,” Moran said. But many more are needed.
“We’ve made it very simple — all you have to do is visit ottawaunitedway.org/hero, check a box, give us an e-mail address where you can receive an electronic invoice, and you’ve done your part to advance the common good in Ottawa County,” Moran explained.
Pledges or donations may also be made by calling 616-396-7811; or by mail to Greater Ottawa County United Way, P.O. Box 1349, Holland, MI 49422.
“Everyday Hero” wrap-up events are being planned throughout Ottawa County in March.