United Way campaign hits 80 percent

JANUARY 20, 2018

The United Way of Stephens County continues to inch toward its $325,000 fund-raising goal for the 2017-18 campaign.

Contributions that help support 14 partner agencies have reached the $260,000 mark. That’s 80 percent of the ambitious goal.

“We’re making steady progress,” campaign co-chairman Ken Graham said. “On occasion we wish we were closer to making and exceeding our goal, but we’re working hard. We’re grateful for every penny and we’re certainly proud to be part of so generous a community.”

Two factors prompt challenges.

One, several significant and traditional giving units haven’t completed their internal campaigns. And two, though there are reports of an improved economy here (increases in the price of oil and surging Dow Jones progress), agencies are being called on frequently by local residents for assistance in basics like food, shelter, clothing utility payments, advice and counseling.

“People here,” campaign co-chairman DeDe Graham said, “are still hurting and, frankly, our combined needs far exceed our goal.

“Our hope is that everyone will participate in the campaign so that our agencies and their volunteers can help local people throughout the year.”

The United Way was started here in 1954 as the Community Chest by concerned citizens with this year’s campaign the 64th annual event.

Agencies currently served are Christians Concerned, Delta Community Action Foundation, Douglass East Side Senior Citizens Center, Duncan Area Literacy Council, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House Academy;

Gillispie Counseling Services, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Heartline 2-1-1, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Marlow Samaritans, Women’s Haven and Youth Services for Stephens County.

Additionally, the United Way coordinates A Day of Caring in May, Readers & Leaders during the Duncan Public Schools year and Dine United throughout the year.