Despite a number of accomplishments, the Mesa United Way’s 2011-12 campaign fell short of meeting its $2.825 million goal by $136,588.
As of Saturday, the final day of the campaign, $2,688,412 had been raised.
United Way officials knew from the get-go the economy would make this a tough campaign. But they upped the goal to $2.825 million anyway because of the rising need in the community. Many people who were once donors are now among those who have lost jobs or homes or have had their pay cut in the last few years.
In a recent Tribune story, Mesa United Way President Dan Wollam said that while the economy has improved, many people in Mesa are still struggling.
“There are a lot of people still out of work who are in danger of losing their homes, or they’ve lost their homes,” Wollam said. “Our 27 partner agencies do a fantastic job helping these people not just survive, but get back on their feet. We just can’t afford to fall even one dollar short of our goal.”
Linda Haskell, director of resource development, said Monday that even though the campaign didn’t meet its goal, “there were many, many good things that happened.”
For instance, more than 210 businesses participated in employee-giving campaigns, with 70 of those also donating a corporate gift and 110 increasing their donation over last year’s contribution. Twenty-one businesses were new to Mesa United Way or had returned after not contributing in previous campaigns. And more than 30 percent of the businesses also held food, clothing, and Christmas gift drives for at least one United Way-funded agency.
“The fact that these accomplishments came in the midst of difficult and uncertain economic times makes them even more inspiring,” Haskell said.
Money raised in the pledge campaign will go directly to the agencies funded by the Mesa United Way. Campaign funds are not used to pay the United Way’s administrative costs.
For more information or to find out how you can help, visit www.mesaunitedway.org.