United Way of Eastern New Mexico officials are hoping for a strong end to a somewhat weak campaign period.
The non-profit organization is at 67 percent of its goal with only one week to go.
Executive Director Erinn Burch said the organization had raised 83 percent of its goal by this time last year.
Burch said the struggling economy has affected their fundraising campaign in two ways.
“With all the financial news, people are feeling a little timid. Couple that with the fact that most of our fundraising is volunteer-based. Their lives have been thrown into a mess because of the financial situation too,” she said.
The United Way’s goal for Curry County is $537,000 and $90,000 for Roosevelt County. So far, $334,655 has been raised in Curry County and $66,749 has been raised in Roosevelt County.
“We’ve had some great campaigns that are up and some that are the same and some that are down,” Burch said.
Burch said the organization’s deadline for fundraising is Friday and fund distribution scheduling begins in February.
“Every dollar we don’t know about, we can’t give away,” she said.
Leo Lovett, president of the United Way of Eastern New Mexico Board, said this year’s fundraising campaign has been different than previous years.
“It’s been difficult. Everyone has been busy trying to take care of their own personal and business needs,” Lovett said.
Lovett said many people he’s talked to about donating money have expressed a fear of the economy in 2009.
“People just don’t know how the economy will progress,” he said.
But Lovett, who has volunteered with the United Way for 10 years, stressed those that are in need could possibly be in more need if the economy gets worse.
“We need to remember those that are in need,” he said. “And that percentage of the population may increase and there may be more call for the services we offer.”
“Sometimes we don’t have time to help, but by donating our funds, it helps fund the agencies who help those in need,” Lovett said. “That’s what United Way does and that’s what I love about United Way.”
Funds raised by the United Way of Eastern New Mexico remain in Curry and Roosevelt counties.
United Way’s goal is to create long-lasting changes by addressing the underlying causes of youth falling short of their potential, financial instability and poor health in low-income families.
To make a contribution, call United Way of Eastern New Mexico at 769-2103. For information, visit liveunited.org.