Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
The 2014 United Fund of Cherokee County campaign kicks off next week, with committees meeting at various locations in Jacksonville to begin raising $119,000 for 18 non-profit groups who play a major role in the lives of local residents.
While the amount may not sound very large, “the money, to a certain degree, helps (these entities) to not worry about funding,” said Jackson-ville insurance agent Jorge Aragon, who heads the campaign.
Donations help to “kind of ease the burden of looking for funding,” he said. “It doesn't remove that burden, but it definitely helps ease it, and they know they can count on the United Fund to help.”
This year's goal is slightly higher than last year's, which raised approximately $117,500 for Cherokee County.
Agencies who requested funding include: H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Pursue Enrichment), $24,000; Good Samaritan in Rusk, $2,500; Cherokee County Child & Family Services, $13,500; Christmas Cheer, $5,000; Eagles Nest (youth center), $5,500;
Also, Gateway Community Partners, $12,000; Court Appointed Special Advocates, $2,000; Cherokee County Crisis Center, $15,500; Boy Scouts, $5,000; ACCESS, $1,000; Clothes Closet & More, $2,000; Red Cross, $4,500;
Also, the Girl Scouts, $1,100; Meals on Wheels, $8,000; Salvation Army, 3,500; Jacksonville Literacy Council, $4,500; Living Alternatives, $2,000; East Texas Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse, $1,000; and campaign expenses, $6,400.
Funds will be dispersed early in 2014 pending the completion of a successful fundraising campaign.
“These organizations play such a large role in the lives who need their help,” Aragon said.
“There's a definite need” that the campaign addresses, agreed UF president Greg Wade.
“The United Fun actually contributes to an important part of the financial support of local charities that are very instrumental (to the lives of residents),” Wade said.
Members of the Major Gifts Division will meet noon Monday at Sadler's, launching their campaign.
Anita Snider, assistant vice president – HR development specialist at Austin Bank heads this division, which includes captains Brittany Traylor, Dick Stone, Brett Brewer, Randy Gorham, Kay Keller, Tim McRae, Nancy Washburn and Paul Travis.
Allison Hale, who chairs the Employee Division, will meet with that group noon Tuesday at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital – Jacksonville to launch their campaign, while the Rusk Division – chaired by Larry Long – kicks off their campaign at noon, Monday, Sept. 16 at Austin Bank in Rusk, and the General Division, headed by Janis Adams, will start its campaign noon Tuesday, Sept. 17, at ETMC – Jacksonville.
Captains for the General Division are Byron Underwood, Beverly Jimerson, Jentrie Tennison, Mike McEwen, Gennie Grundy and Kaitlyn Cole.
Gifts to United Fund of Cherokee County are tax deductible. Individuals who wish to participate can mail contributions to United Fund, P.O. Box 111, Jacksonville, TX 75766.
“The citizens of Cherokee County have always been generous” in their support, be it through funding or volunteerism, Wade pointed out, adding that United Fund hopes to share that support in turn.
“For us to meet this goal is very important to us,” he said.