Sedalia-Pettis County United Way Campaign Chairman Paul Dick urged those attending a kickoff event to “Unite” and “Be The One” to help achieve the organization’s goal of $540,000 for the 2014 campaign.
Supporters and agency reps were treated to a meal donated by one dozen area businesses, as well as remarks from Dick and UW Board President Chris Stewart at Convention Hall in Liberty Park.
“We implemented some new policies for financial management in the last six months,” Stewart said. After two years of record-breaking contributions, we experienced two years of decline, which forced the board to ask some critical questions.”
A review of the UW’s mission and goals followed, which resulted in agreement that the UW, which now serves 22 agencies, has a primary goal of collaborating with agencies and business partners to solve community issues.
The United Way is currently in the process of repositioning itself as not only a fund-raiser, but also a “leading community impact organization,” Stewart explained. “So as we embark on what we believe will be a two- or three-year transition, we invite you, community members and member agencies, to participate. But first, we have the 2013 campaign. I join Paul (Dick) in asking each and every one of you to be the one who makes a difference.”
Stewart quoted Margaret Mead, who said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Stewart added that “Our world is Sedalia-Pettis County, so let’s be that small, thoughtful group of committed citizens.”
Dick said the 2012-13 campaign raised $538,000, a bit short of its $575,000 goal. This year’s goal is $540,000.
“We all did that together,” Dick said. “It was an amazing amount of money, and we couldn’t do it without everybody’s help in this room.” He added that we need a “repeat of last year’s performance,” which will require teamwork. Dick works as the plant manager at Gardner-Denver.
He noted that United Way Executive Director Linda Kirk told him that a total of 6,500 pledge cards were received during last year’s campaign. “That is an amazing amount of pledges to receive right here in Pettis County,” he said, suggesting that if everyone who gave last year gives one dollar more per month this year, it would result in an additional $78,000 for the United Way campaign.
“I think that’s a nice stretch goal for us as a team, and I’d like all of you to help us reach this stretch goal,” Dick said.
He also noted that 94 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to the United Way agencies. “That’s a 94 percent return,” he said. “We should feel really good about that. We should feel confident that the gift makes an impact to our community here in Sedalia and Pettis County.”
After viewing a promotional video, each agency rep gave a brief description of their organization.
Locally, the 22 United Way agencies include: American Red Cross, Association for Persons with Disabilities. Blind of Central Missouri, Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts, Great Rivers Council. CACTUS (Community And Children Teaming Up 4 Success), Children’s Mercy Hospital, Child Safe, Citizens Against Spouse Abuse, Civil Air Patrol Cadets, The Embassy, The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, Girl Scouts, Heart of Missouri Council, Meals on Wheels, Melita Day Child Development Center, Open Door Ministries, Pettis County Children’s Health Care Team, Pettis County DARE Program, Pettis County Fund for Frail Elderly, Pettis County 4-H, PROP (Putting Roofs Over People), Salvation Army, Sedalia Senior Center, and the Show-Me Christian Youth Home. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.