United Way halfway to campaign goal.

The United Way of Stephens County has reached the halfway point of its 2016-17 fund-raising goal.

Contributions and pledges topped the $150,000 mark last week and campaign officials are hoping for a post-Thanksgiving surge that will push funds closer to the $300,000 goal.

“We’re going to need all the help we can get,” Marty Askins, chairman of this year’s drive that helps support 14 partner agencies, admitted. “We still have some of our Pacesetter and Loaned Executive accounts that are completing their respective internal campaigns, but a real key this year will be the generosity of small businesses and individuals.

“While our goal is $300,000, the needs of our agencies are far greater than that, so we’re encouraging anyone and everyone to consider helping us and the agencies we represent. Every dollar counts. And every dollar will be used to help local people through local agencies meet and resolve local issues.”

Agencies served by the United Way of Stephens County are Christians Concerned, Delta Community Action Foundation, Douglass East Side Senior Citizens Center, Duncan Community residence, Duncan Literacy Council, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House Academy, Heartline 2-1-1, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Marlow Samaritans, Women’s Haven and Youth Services for Stephens County.

Virtually all have reported significant increases in requests for assistance, many for basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, utility or prescription medication payments As the prolonged energy slump lingers, high unemployment continues and benefits run out, many anticipate an even greater need for help.

The United Way of Stephens County was formed as the Community Chest in 1954 and has conducted fund-raising efforts for the community for the past 62 years.

Contributions can be dropped off at its office at 12 South 8th Street, Suite 9 in Duncan or mailed to P.O. Box 1632. Duncan, 73534. For more information contact Ed Darling at (580) 255-3648.