United Way Exceeds Campaign Goal by Nearly ,000

The United Way of Western Nebraska is thanking the community for their efforts going above and beyond by helping them exceed their $308,000 campaign goal for 2020-2021 by nearly $66,000.

Reaching a total raised of $373,747, outgoing United Way Board Chair Doug Couse thanked their corporate Pacesetter businesses for stepping up, along with a few local businesses who provided large donations.

And Couse gave special thanks to our communities for their amazing support, especially during a pandemic with increased needs and much uncertainty.

Exectutive Director Steph Black said with COVID-19 implications this past year, they had to change everything they did, including their fundraising, their annual campaign process, community impact projects, and volunteering.

Black said they had 25 amazing UW Pacesetter businesses and their employees who helped raise money all year long by doing internal fundraisers, doing corporate donations or matches, and allowing employee payroll deduction giving. Even through COVID, Black says these 25 Pacesetter businesses donated $145,685.

They also had $75,500 in donations from three local businesses that they were not anticipating.

Black said they had to cancel all of their 2020 Special Events except the Duck event, which had to be done totally different due to the pandemic. The raffle event at the 18th Street Downtown Plaza raised $73,000, selling nearly 1800 more ducks than last year.

And the rest came from community donors making donations from $1 to several thousand dollars. Some people from the community even donated their COVID stimulus checks to United Way. Black says it all adds up and makes such a difference in so many lives in our communities.

United Way is funding 16 local programs that provide services to families in need.

Black says they started a COVID-19 Community Compassion Fund and raised and distributed $26,463 in their service area.

She says their Community impact projects all had to be done differently, with the 2020 Stuff the Bus supply drive doing monetary donations instead of supply collections.

They were not able to hold their in-person food packaging event for their Day of Caring due to COVID. But were still able to raise $16,400 through grants and donations specific to their food insecurity project. Those dollars were used to purchase $16,400 worth of VISA cards that were distributed to the 15 local programs normally supported through the Day of Caring event.

Black says United Way continued to be a collaborative partner in community impact work being done focusing of better health, education, financial stability, homeless prevention and food insecurity. Due to additional need for volunteers, they were able to help some of their funded partner programs at COVID related drive-thu food pantries and the Shopping for Seniors program.

United Way Exceeds Campaign Goal by Nearly ,000