United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades has extended its 2011-2012 fund-raising campaign, to allow time to raise the $300,000 needed to reach the $8,030,533 goal.
"The Board of Directors recognizes it is in the best interest of our community to extend the campaign," said Joe Catti, United Way board chair and president of FineMark National Bank and Trust. "It is critical to fully fund the programs of our 70 partner agencies that help more than 300,000 Lee, Hendry, and Glades residents each year."
For the last 18 years, United Way has met or exceeded its annual campaign goal.
Although short of the goal, the campaign has been successful: many employees have significantly increased their payroll-deduction pledges; several companies conducted first-time campaigns; and the number of donors making gifts of $1,000 or more has increased.
The number of people in our community who need help also is increasing. United Way 211, the help line for referral to health and social services, receives 4,000 calls a month, more than double the number of calls received before the economic downturn. The 13 United Way Houses, which serve as satellite locations for human service agencies, are seeing double the number of clients.
United Way agencies provide food for hungry families through tens of thousands of meals at food pantries, meals delivered to the homebound and students' backpacks filled with nutritious weekend meals. They also provide shelter for the abused, respite for Alzheimer's caregivers, free or reduced-cost health care for children and adults, a healthy start for babies and toddlers, lessons for those who need to master English, and many other programs and services.
To learn more or to contribute to the 2011-12 campaign, call 239-433-2000 or visit the United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades website at www.unitedwaylee.org.