By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The Stillwater United Way continues to push toward its yearly goal.
Executive Director Sheri Carter said the United Way has reached 60 percent of its goal. As of Friday, $475,000 had been raised. The organization had hoped to reach its goal of $850,000 by Thanksgiving. Carter said there may be a few reasons why they are not close to their goal yet.
Carter said Thanksgiving comes a week early this year and she believes it may have snuck up on some residents who expected they may have another week to contribute. However, Carter said she is hopeful that the tide may turn in the coming weeks.
“We’ll keep going until we get as close to the goal as we think we can get,” she said.
If needed, the group will continue to ask for donations in December.
“We’ve got to call it by the end of the year because the agencies have to know what their allocations are for the new year,” Carter said.
The United Way supports 23 agencies, including Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Payne County Youth Services.
“It provides the safety net for all residents in Payne County,” Carter said. “We know that one out of three people in this community are served by one of our agencies every year and this is everything from children to the elderly and everything in between.”
Another reason for the lack of monetary donations is the change in Stillwater’s industrial division, she said.
“We’re seeing a large decrease in our industrial division,” Carter said. “With MerCruiser gone, Quad Graphics gone and although new businesses are coming into those places, they’re not there yet.”
She said MerCruiser was the second biggest donor after Oklahoma State University. Making up the difference is hard, Carter said.
Carter asks donors to act right away.
“The campaign is still going on,” Carter said. “Every donation helps no matter the size.”