LUMBERTON — The United Way of Robeson County, which once routinely hit its campaign goals but has struggled during recent years because of a poor economy, has lowered its goal for its coming campaign by $75,000.
The goal was set at $650,000 during a recent kick-off meeting. The organization fell about $100,000 short of last year’s goal of $725,000, according to Executive Director Sandra Oliver.
“It’s still an optimistic goal,” Oliver said. Oliver hopes the enthusiasm of this year’s Pacesetter Companies will make up the difference.
“BB&T’s campaign is already going, they always do a great job. Campbell’s campaign is already going, they always do a great job. We’re meeting with the principals tomorrow morning …,” Oliver said on Thursday. “We really are in full fling, ready to get this campaign underway and help out.”
Oliver stressed that, like every year, what the agency raises will stay in Robeson County.
“We have three focus areas, education, health and financial stability, so when we give out money we are trying to address issues in those three areas,” Oliver said.
Pacesetters have until Oct. 10 raise money in advance of the official campaign kickoff, which includes a car giveaway and Dancing with the Robeson County Stars, the United Way of Robeson County’s main event.
The first drawing in the car giveaway is Oct. 14. People who give the equivalent of one hour’s pay a month are eligible to win a car in the contest that is sponsored by Peterson Toyota, Lumberton Chevrolet, Lumberton Kia, Lumberton Nissan and Fair Bluff Ford.
The dance competition will be held on Feb. 20 and Feb. 21, about month earlier than the first three events, which were held toward the end of March. This year’s event raised $136,000 for United Way education initiatives in Robeson County and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which provides free books to students.
The 2014-2015 Pacesetters are: Alamac American Knits; AT&T; BB&T; Belk of Lumberton; Campbell Soup; Carters Bank & Trust; City of Lumberton; Coastal Speech; EI DuPont; Graphics Packaging; International Paper; Kayser Roth; Lumbee Guaranty Bank; Lumbee River EMC; Piedmont Natural Gas; Public Schools of Robeson County; Quickie Manufacturing; Robeson Community College; Robeson County Employees; Southeastern Health; UPS; Walmart, Red Springs, Lumberton and Pembroke; and Wells Fargo Bank.
The nonprofits supported by United Way of Robeson County are: American Red Cross; Boys & Girls Club; Boy Scouts Cape Fear Council; Foster Children’s Christmas Fund; Girl Scouts N.C. Coastal Pines; Lumberton Christian Care Center; Mayor’s Committee for the Challenged; Rape Crisis Center; Robeson County Church and Community Center; Robeson County Communities in Schools; Robeson County 4-H Program; Robeson County Partnership for Children — Born Learning; Robeson Family Counseling Center; Southeastern Family Violence Center; Southeastern Industrial Center; Southeastern Hospice; Southeastern N.C. Radio Reading Service; and UNCP Save Our Scholarships.