By Merrick Eagleton
STILLWATER, Okla. —
With less than two weeks until the new year, the Stillwater Area United Way is short of $875,000.
The United Way campaign is at 92 percent and needs to raise $68,000 by the end of the year, United Way Executive Director Sheri Carter said.
“That last $68,000 is really needed because that’s what the agencies are really budgeting for 2014,” Carter said.
United Way provides at least 30 percent funding to one-third of its 25 partner agencies. If the financial target is not reached, United Way officials will have to determine how the money is allocated. It could be detrimental to some agencies..
“Some would have to potentially cut services,” Carter said. “It’s a decision we don't want to have to make. How do you decide which is more important, food, medical services or counseling?”
Judith Karman Hospice Executive Director Lisa Smith said United Way funding is small but invaluable. Because of the high cost of health care, the organization would see an impact without it.
“It would make a difference,” Smith said. “But we will never turn away a family with a patient who medically qualifies as having six or fewer months to live.”
The United Way offers a variety of ways to give. Donations can be made online, www.stillwaterunitedway.org, over the phone, 405-377-2161 or in person, 109 E. Ninth Ave., Stillwater.
“If people want to make a gift that counts on this years taxes, they need to get it in by the year’s end for tax deductions,” Carter said.