UW announces $300,000 campaign goal

Let the campaign begin … well, almost. United Way of Big Spring and Howard County hosted its annual campaign kickoff, Boots and Bling, Saturday night. During the event, the organization's new campaign goal — $300,000 — was announced through the words of Dr. Seuss. “So let's get on our way of kicking of our campaign of $300,000,” Ann McClarty, United Way first vice president, said. “Will we succeed? Yes, we will succeed, 100 percent guaranteed.” Money raised in the 2013 campaign will help support 16 local agencies:• American Red Cross West Texas Chapter, which provides disaster victims with emergency assistance. It can be contacted at 432-553-1439.• Buffalo Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America and Girls Scouts of the Desert Southwest. Both groups provide educational and character building programs, providing training in citizenship, personal fitness and responsibility. To contact Boy Scouts, call 432-212-3577. Girl Scouts information can be obtained by calling 432-550-2688.• CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) of West Texas is a program which promotes and supports quality volunteers who speak for the best interest of the abused and neglected children in court. Its goal is to provide a safe, nurturing permanent environment for those children. To find out more, call 432-263-4162. • Dora Robert Rehabilitation Center provides outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy and cardiac rehabilitation to children and adults on a sliding scale ability to pay. To find out more, call 432-267-3806.• Emergency Services Chaplain Corp Services, a new agency in 2012, helps counsel those needing assistance in a crisis situation. For more information, call 432-264-2244. • Howard County Council on Aging/Meals on Wheels provides well-balanced meals five days a week to homebound seniors in the area. To find out more information or to volunteer, call 432-263-4016. • Howard County Humane Society takes care of the four-legged members of the community, providing shelter and care for abandoned, abused and neglected animals. The shelter arranges pet visitations for the elderly and disabled, as well. To find out more, call 432-267-7832. • Isaiah 58, a local food pantry, strives to provide hunger relief and Christian counseling in the local community. To find out more information, call 432-263-4758. • North Side Community Center provides clothing, household articles, rent and other assistance, emergency shelter and counseling. To find out more information, call 432-263-2673. • Salvation Army/Community and Emergency Services provides meals for the hungry as well as lodging for the homeless. There is a food pantry, domestic crisis shelter and substance abuse counseling. More information can be obtained by calling 432-267-8239. • Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club offers educational and recreational programs, after-school care and summer day camp. For more information, call 432-264-7344. • Spring of Siloam Christian Women's Job Corp is a newer agency providing educational support services and vocational counseling for participants in order for them to become valuable employees. More information can be obtained by calling 432-517-4627. • Rape Crisis Victim Services of Big Spring provides immediate after-crisis support for victims of rape and sexual assault. The agency also provides self-help for adults and adolescents in group sessions and self-protection awareness presentations. The agency is also involved in Shattered Dreams, an anti-drunk driving program aimed at area schools. For more information, call 432-263-3312. • Westside Community Day Care Center and YMCA of Big Spring provide services to the area's youth. Westside provides day care and education for children of working parents through the age of 12. More information can be obtained by calling, 432-263-7841. YMCA not only offers child care, but also has summer activities, including aquatics, sports, gymnastics and more. To contact the YMCA, call 432-267-8234.As part of the celebration, each of the agencies was presented with a bonus check in addition to their funding which was granted earlier this year. “Because our community was so generous we exceeded our goal from last year,” McClarty said. “By doing so we are allowed to give our agencies bonus checks.”More than $295,000 brought in for the 2012 campaign, exceeding the goal of $275,000. All funds were raised through pledges, private donations and fundraising events such as Empty Bowls. Empty Bowls, a special event started by the Rev. kenneth McIntosh, will continue for a sixth year. Because of increased support of the program, it will be moved to a new location to be announced at a later date. “We look forward to another great campaign,” McClarty said. “Thank you for supporting our community, our agencies and United Way.”After the meeting, it was noticed that three Girl Scout vests with patches were gone. If anyone attending that evening knows what happened to them, call the United Way office at 432-267-5201.