HIGH POINT, N.C. — At partner agencies of United Way of Greater High Point that operate food pantries, the shelves are bare.
“We know that times are still extremely difficult and challenging and our agencies are slammed for requests, whether for food assistance or rent assistance or utility assistance or clothing,” says Bobby Smith, United Way president.
To help address rising demand for food, United Way this year, for the second straight year, kicked off its annual fundraising campaign with a drive to collect canned food.
Last year’s effort, which enlisted 20 companies that collected 10,000 canned goods and non-perishable items, this year enlisted over 30 companies.
Ilderton Chrysler Dodge, headed by Tim Ilderton, who will chair United Way’s annual campaign in 2012, collected over 3,000 canned items.
The canned-goods drive “sends a real message to our community,” Smith says.
Chaired by Greg York, president of Vann York Automotive, this year’s campaign has a goal of $4.5 million, up from $4.4 million United Way raised last year.
For three of the last four years, Smith says, United Way has run the best campaign in the state among the biggest United Way affiliates, based on percentage change in total dollars raised.
Last year’s campaign grew 2 percent from 2009, when the campaign fell only two percent from 2008.
One-third of all dollars raised in the campaign, which supports United Way’s 29 partner agencies, reflect gifts of $1,000 or more, including 63 gifts of $10,000 or more in last year’s campaign.
For this year’s campaign, over half the donors who gave $10,000 or more already have renewed their gifts, and United Way has enlisted three new donors to give at that level.