Stillwater News Press

January 14, 2014

Stillwater Area United Way reaches goal

By Nick Woodruff
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — After all the hard work, sweat and giving, the Stillwater Area United Way can finally say, “We’ve made it.”

After setting a $875,000 goal in September, the United Way crossed the finish line Friday. Sheri Carter, executive director for the United Way in Stillwater, said it’s an exciting time for the organization.

“It feels elating,” Carter said. “We are just relieved, happy, ecstatic and elated. Elated describes it the best.”

Even though the organization hoped to reach the goal before the end of the year, Carter said it’s still an amazing accomplishment. She said it took more than the people in Stillwater to reach the goal — it took all of Payne County.

Money raised will be allocated to help 25 charities, Carter said. She said the Red Cross, Salvation Army and even some counseling services will receive part of the money raised during the last three months.

Carter said money raised affects more people than a person would think. She said more than likely a person knows someone who the United Way has helped.

“This is money a lot of services count on each year,” Carter said. “Almost one out of three people have received some sort of service the United Way helps fund. We have a strong impact.”

Even though Carter is proud to have reached the goal, she said most importantly she is thankful for a giving community. She said she believes the community understands how important United Way services are to the people.

She said the United Way has numerous ways to raise money, and every benefit dinner and even a permission to wear jeans to work coupon have huge impacts.

Carter said if the United Way had one thing to say to the community it would be thank you, but Carter admitted simply saying thank you doesn’t feel like enough.

“Thank you just seems so small,” Carter said. “Everybody has helped us reach our goal and they need to know how impactful we really are. Just anyone who helped thank you for giving and thank you to the agencies providing the services to the communities.

“I want people to know thank you and that we are here for you.”