By Frank Lewis
The United Way of Scioto and Adams Counties is reporting that donations are at an all-time low.
“Given the challenges in our community and a declining economy, the United Way will be forced to reduce award amounts and curtail the number of agencies that we can support for the current funding cycle. Work place giving, the closure of businesses and private donations have decreased significantly in our community,” Mary Ann Miars-Peercy, United Way Scioto & Adams Counties executive director, said. “Difficult choices must be made when limited resources are available.”
Gail Miller, 2015 president for the United Way of Scioto and Adams Counties, echoed Miars-Peercy’s assessment of the current status of United Way locally.
“We have the privilege of hosting giving campaigns in a number of workplaces in our area, but as companies are getting smaller or closing their doors, it becomes harder and harder to raise the needed funds for our agencies,” Miller said. “Besides company giving at a all time low, payroll deduction is also suffering. Many two person households who gave are now combining their incomes and giving as one at a significant lower contribution. All of this factors into the decrease in our annual giving program.”
The following are organizations currently supported by the United Way: Catholic Social Services, Community Partners of Shawnee Mental Health Center, Inc., DSC Community Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Ohio River Valley American Red Cross, Operation Safety Net, The Scioto County Homeless Shelter, Simon Kenton Council. Boy Scouts of America, Scioto Christian Ministry West End Child Care, Sierra’s Haven for New and Used Pets, Southern Ohio Task Force on Domestic Violence, The Salvation Army.
“Through the efforts of United Way and the generosity of our community we have been able to make the court processes so much less scary for many victims of domestic violence,” Lou Ann Hoffer, director, Southern Ohio Task Force on Domestic Violence, said. “United Way allocations to our agency pays for court advocates who are informed, caring, kind, and give those we serve to help them become survivors. We are working to break the cycle of violence. We are sad about the problem United Way is experiencing, but we must realize that only we – the people of this county – can make it better. Every dollar counts toward making our community more peaceful and healthy – one woman, man, or child at a time.”
Miars-Peercy said United Way of Scioto and Adams Counties is committed to supporting vital services of their partner agencies and to the issues that are important to residents of Scioto County.
“Our commitment is to create a stronger community; one in which we all live and work. In looking ahead, we hope that companies and donors alike will help us address the underlining needs in our community,” Miars-Peercy said. “We want to be able to assist our member agencies in providing food, shelter, counseling and other quality of life needs to help better assist them in their time of need. United Way needs your help in order to sustain or increase support to our agencies addressing these needs. With your support we will able to achieve a lasting change in someone’s life.”
Miars-Peercy said anyone wanting to help can send in donations to the United Way office at 1671 Grant Street, Portsmouth, Ohio, 45662, or if a company wants to do a campaign, they can contact them as well. More information on United Way is available by contacting the office at 740-353-5121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.