United Way kicks off fundraiser

By Emily Crowe

CNJ STAFF WRITER

ecrowe@cnjonline.com

Helping local individuals and families in need could be as simple as filling in the gaps and connecting the dots.

Local volunteers and community members gathered Tuesday to help the United Way of Eastern New Mexico kick off its annual fundraising campaign to do just that.

“At this time every year, United Way reaches out to the community to bring everybody together to make a difference for families,” said Erinn Burch, United Way executive director.

Burch said United Way’s focus has always been education, income and health, and this year’s campaign is no different.

“By improving those things within our community and within our families, we can give people the tools they need to improve their lives,” she said.

According to Burch, $553,000 was raised by Curry and Roosevelt counties during last year’s campaign. The goal of this year’s campaign is to raise $1 million between the two communities, as it was in 2012.

“We fell pretty short of that last year,” said Leo Lovett, this year’s campaign chairman. “But I believe that we can make it this year.”

Lovett stressed the importance of people helping people and making sure everyone in the community is asked to donate or help however they can.

“We’re focusing on reaching everyone,” he said. “Some people come to us and say we’ve never been asked. Everywhere I go, I’m asking.”