TWO critical fundraising campaigns are entering the homestretch and appear to be within striking distance of reaching their goals, and we urge the community to help push them across the finish line.
The Quincy Salvation Army will announce the results of its annual Tree of Lights campaign on Tuesday. The campaign has generated more than $400,000 in each of the past two years to help support outreach programs and services in West-Central Illinois.
For example, last year's campaign enabled the Salvation Army Emergency Shelter and Family Services to provide, among other things, 21,260 individual instances of assistance. Moreover, 510 people received 4,895 nights of lodging at the emergency shelter, 19,641 meals were provided to shelter residents, 510 people participated in education classes, and 3,197 food boxes were provided to families through the food pantry.
However, an unexpected decision by national leaders to shorten the length of the fund drive by a month put additional pressure on the organization and its campaign team. Still, the community's generosity since mid-November has put the Salvation Army on the cusp of achieving its $400,000 goal.
Likewise, the United Way of Adams County is within $163,000 of reaching its $1.125 million goal in its 80th annual campaign. The United Way has topped $1 million each year since 1997, with a record $1.211 million raised in 2013.
The United Way uses the money to promote education, income and health in the community. The nonprofit organization works with 32 different partners and programs.
For decades, the United Way focused the allocations and resource investment process on areas of need by grouping programs with similar needs and goals. This process was driven by the data provided by the agencies to establish the need for programs and requested funding.
Beginning in 2008, the United Way began using community data to establish priorities and define measurable outcomes that funded programs must align with. Rather than being reactive, the agency is making proactive decisions in an effort to help address critical community needs.
The United Way's focus is to continue to assess needs in the community and respond with short-term assistance and long-term solutions to problems that arise.
Tax-deductible donations to the Salvation Army may be made by cash, check or credit card by calling or stopping by the Salvation Army at 405 Vermont, Quincy.
There are four ways to donate to the United Way campaign: go online to unitedwayadamsco.org, call 217-222-5020, send a check by mail to United Way of Adams County, 936 Broadway, Suite F, Quincy, IL 62301, or stop in personally to drop off a donation.
Contributing in any way possible to the success of these campaigns, and to important efforts the year-around, is an opportunity for all of us to play a part in improving the lives of everyone in the community.