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United Way of Hill County in mid-fundraising season


November 14, 2017

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

A bottle of wine is auctioned off Sept. 30 at Beaver Creek Golf Course during United Way of Hill County's annual Crab Boil. The event kicked off United Way's fundraising campaign, which strives to help fund 10 agencies that provide services in Hill County.

United Way of Hill County is in the middle of its annual three-month fundraising campaign and a spokesperson said the goal this year is to raise more money than last year.

"We were really in awe of how well the campaign went last year. We raised $80,000 last year and we'd like to raise a little more this year," United Way board member Kristi Peterson said Monday.

United Way raises money annually for 10 local service organization partners.

Peterson said those agencies do not have fundraising arms themselves, but just serve the people who need them. They depend on United Way's fundraising efforts to pay their expenses.

The fundraising season kicked off with the third annual Crab Boil at the end of September. That's how one large chunk of cash is raised, Peterson said, adding that the other is bit by bit.

"We raise a lot of money through individual donations. We go out to businesses and give them packets so they can give them out to their employees, and the employees can do automatic withdrawal through their paychecks," Peterson said. "We have super-generous people in Havre."

She said the funded partners are vetted yearly. That includes a yearly interview where the agency representatives have to talk about the details of what they do for the community and how many people they help. They are held accountable to report back on how they utilize the funding and they must reapply to United Way each year. In turn, they ask for a specific amount of money and United Way does everything they can to raise enough money to fully fund those requests, Peterson said.

"With the food bank, we ask how many pounds of food they give away in a week," she said.

The eventual partners are chosen from those applicants.

Peterson said United Way looks for partners who are serving the community but are doing work to help people become more self-sustainable in the future.

"Things like the HRDC adult literacy program - they're helping people get their GEDs, or their HiSET," she said. "That's a huge thing for us because what we want is to make it easier for them to move forward and make a better life for themselves."

People interested in helping United Way can send donations to the office address at P.O. Box 1131, or they can download a donation form from the organization's Facebook page, Peterson said.

United Way's partners this year are Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, Domestic Abuse Program, Hill County Family Planning, Meals on Wheels, Havre Food Bank, Feed My Sheep Soup Kitchen, North Central Senior Citizens Center, Salvation Army, District 4 Human Resources Development Center Adult Basic Literacy Program and Hill County DUI-Drug Courts.


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