United Way hits 83 percent!

The United Way of Stephens County continues to inch toward its $300,000 fund-raising goal for its 2016-17 campaign.

Contributions that support 14 partner agencies have reached the $250,000 mark. That’s 83 percent of the goal.

“We’re making steady progress,” Marty Askins, chairman of the campaign, said. “We’re grateful for every penny and we’re certainly proud to be part of so giving an area.”

Several significant businesses have not finalized their respective internal campaigns, providing hope this year’s goal will be met in spite of sluggish economic conditions brought on by a prolonged slump in the oil and energy industry.

“We remain optimistic,” Askins said. “A number of our donors have recognized the challenges faced by our agencies and have increased their pledges or donations. We think more will. And we know our agencies are working hard to stretch every dollar to help everyone possible.”

While reaching the goal is an important milestone, funding needs actually exceed that target.

“It’s a good number,” Ed Darling, executive director of the United Way, admitted, “but the truth is, we could spend wisely $400,000 or $500,000 and still fall short of addressing local issues confronting local people.”

Agencies are working hard to juggle available resources and the increase in demand for services.

Partners in the United Way of Stephens County, now in its 62nd year of operation, are Christians Concerned, Delta Community Action Foundation, Douglass East Side Senior Citizens Center, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Area 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.

Contributions can be mailed to the United Way of Stephens County, P. O. Box 1632, Duncan, OK 73534 or dropped off at the United Way office, 12 South 8th Street, Suite 9, Duncan. Additional information can be obtained by calling (580) 255-3648.