POULSBO — United Way of Kitsap County has set a goal of raising $1.6 million in its 2012 Community Campaign.
“For the past four years, due to this very long recession, we have slowly slipped below our best campaign when, in 2007, we raised $1.86 million,” board president Walter Washington said.
Funds raised will help support 36 community service organizations and programs in Kitsap County. See the list at www.unitedwaykitsap.org/our_work.html.
“We have lost $400,000 [in annual fundraising] during this recession,” Washington said. “This year, the board deliberated and decided that we needed to push hard so we set a campaign goal of $1.6 million. We also set a board goal of $20,000 to help lead the way.”
This year, United Way of Kitsap County celebrates its 75th year of serving residents of Kitsap County.
In 1937, residents of Bremerton came together and created the Bremerton Community Fund, which raised $12,630.63 its inaugural year. In the ensuing years, the fund was known as the Community Fund, the War Fund, Community Chest and United Good Neighbors. In 1970, the United Way name and logo were formally adopted and the vast majority of the nation’s Community Chests and United Good Neighbors all became known as United Way.
All United Way organizations across the country are locally organized, locally operated by an independent board of directors who set local United Way policy and make all of the local funding decisions.
In 2007, the United Way movement raised more than $4 billion and became the nation’s largest charitable organizations. United Way of Kitsap County had its best annual community campaign that year. Since then, the recession has taken its toll.
“If United Way is going to continue to be the go-to organization for community funding, we need to step up and make this the turn-around year for the annual Community Campaign” Washington said.
“We need to once again learn to be self-reliant and come together as a community to help those less fortunate. I ask you to look into your heart and help United Way begin climbing back toward that high-dollar campaign of 2007.”
For more information on how to contribute as an individual or as a business, call (360) 377-8505 or go to the United Way website at www.unitedwaykitsap.org.