Tim Leeds Havre Daily News email@example.com
While the fund drive for United Way of Hill County fell short of its goal of $117,000, a large amount of donations toward the end of the drive helped make up what had looked like a very disappointing total. “I am overwhelmed when I see the generosity,” said Jane McFarlane, executive director of United Way. “ Some people who really can't afford it donated, helping people in need. “ Hill County, in my estimation, really came through for United Way and it will have an impact on residents in Hill County,” she added. McFarlane said the total as of last weekend was $72,823.38, with some donation packets still to come in. The board of United Way will meet Jan. 10 to set allocations for the 17 agencies United Way is helping to fund this year. With some donations still expected, and additional donations typically coming in through the year, McFarlane said she hopes the total will end up about $90,000, which would let United Way give about the same funding amounts it gave last year. The fundraiser saw some $30,000 come in through December. At the end of November, it was at about $42,000. McFarlane said some major contributers were still out at that time Northern Montana Healthcare, which always strongly supports United Way, came in with about $13,900 and Hill County employees, Triangle Telephone- Hill County Electric Cooperatives and NorthWestern Energy, which provides a matching donation, also gave large contributions. McFarlane said the contributers are too numerous to list. Many businesses with just one or two employees gave generous donations which can’t compare to large businesses like the hospital, but which add up in the end, she said. Many people did a lot of work in the Fundraiser, McFarlane added, like the members of the United Way board of directors and many others, including people whose groups benefit from United Way funding. The funds often provide crucial undesignated money, representatives of the groups have said. Agencies receiving United Way funding like the Havre Center for Mental Health or the domestic abuse program at District IV Human Resources Development Council receive funding that can only be used for specific purposes. The United Way funding provides a general fund that can be used for other purposes, like maintaining The Haven, the domestic abuse program’s shelter. An example of the outstanding support of the fundraiser was Michael Carney, senior district executive of three districts of the Boy Scouts of America helping with the fundraiser and working several shifts at a grocery-basket raffle at Gary & Leo’s IGA, she said. Robert Floren of Floren’s Hill County Printing, who is treasurer of the United Way board, also donates all printing for United Way, McFarlane added. Board Director Norton Pease also designed a Web site for United Way, she said. The board of directors on Jan. 10 will set the allocations based on the goal, which is the total amount requested by the agencies funded, versus what actually has come in at that time. The total will probably go up all year and the allocations to the groups funded adjusted as new amounts come in, McFarlane said. “Last year nearly $10,000 came in later in the year,” she said. “We have people who will walk in and just give $5 or give something periodically.” Some businesses allow new employees to join the funding program through payroll deductions as they are hired, she added. She said it is never too late for people to contribute or for businesses to join and sponsor their employees’ participation. People or businesses interested in contributing can contact United Way through the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce at 265-4383.