Want to help Hoke? Give to United Fund
By Catharin Shepard
Last year the United Fund in Hoke County provided tens of thousands of dollars in funding to groups as varied as the American Red Cross, 4-H, the Children’s Developmental Center, the county rescue squad and others even though many people don’t even know the United Fund exists.
And that’s a problem for the United Fund, chairwoman Olive Morris said, because it means fewer people are donating.
“I guarantee everybody in Hoke County knows somebody that this helps,” she said.
Morris came into the organization about six years ago and has served as the group’s leader for the last four years. Recently the group has had more trouble meeting its fundraising goals, she said.
“A lot of companies no longer participate or support, I’m thinking because it’s no longer United Way,” she said.
The United Fund isn’t connected at all with the United Way, but in Hoke County, it serves the same purpose.
“From my understanding, United Way basically said that the Hoke County chapter did not bring in enough funding to remain with United Way, so rather than just give it up, they formed the United Fund so money would still be going into the various groups we support in Hoke County,” Morris said.
The United Fund also supports Bethesda House, the HELP store, the Reading and Literacy Council, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Tia Hart Community Recovery Program, the radio reading service for Hoke County and the Alpha pregnancy programs at RockFish Church, which provide support and baby supplies for teen mothers.
The United Fund takes yearly applications from agencies requesting assistance and grants awards, depending on what the agencies do and how much money they ask for.
“We’re not always able to meet that amount,” Morris said.
Last year the group’s total budget was $81,200, including money for operational costs such as bookkeeping and auditing. The group gave $8,000 to the literacy council, $10,000 to 4-H and so on to the other agencies it supports, Morris said.
Just like the United Way, the United Fund can take donations through payroll deductions. At the Burlington plant in Raeford, one of the businesses that still participates and where Morris works as a supervisor many people still choose to donate.
“This year we raised $7,000 at Burlington and will have a corporate match for that to bring in support,” she said.
The group is now trying to expand its fundraising activities to increase community awareness about its efforts to support local services. The United Fund will hold a pancake sale Saturday, April 27 at Andy’s on U.S. Highway 401 Business in Raeford. Plates are $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors. Tickets are available in advance from any United Fund member and will also be available for purchase the day of the event.
The group will also hold a car wash the same day, with proceeds from the pancake sale and car wash going to support the programs funded by the United Fund.
The United Fund welcomes new members and donations, Morris said. For more information, contact Morris at 583-7860.
“My favorite motto, a few people might give a dollar and it might not help a lot but if a lot of people give a dollar it means a great deal, the more people I get to give, no matter how small it might seem, you can do a lot with it,” she said.