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Friday, Sep. 19, 2014

Buchanan returns to chair annual United Way drive

Friday, August 3, 2001

SIKESTON - If you want something done right you've got to do it yourself.

That, or ask Sarah Buchanan to do it.

The mother of six and grandmother of six is well known for the dedication she shows once she commits to something and chairing the Sikeston Area United Way fund drive is a prime example.

Her appreciation for and belief in the organization led her to carry the title last year. Her drive and realization that organizations depend on the United Way to help them accomplish what they set out to do made her decision to again be fundraising chairperson easy.

"Last year I decided to try it one time and see if I could make a difference and I decided to go ahead and do it again this year because we did go over our goal of $76,000. We made about $92,000. I wanted to see if we could do as good this year. I think it takes at least the first year to get your feet wet and then the second year you have a little more knowledge and you know more what to do."

This year's goal is again $76,000, with hopes of raising more.

She said her first year taught her many lessons. As a result, there will be some changes this year. One difference, she said, will be the location of the kick-off celebration. This year it will be at the Sikeston High School football field on Aug. 31. A representative from each of the 21 United Way agencies will be there to explain to residents how their dollars are used.

"I think it's kind of exciting that the school is behind us," said Glenna Shy, United Way director. "They recognized us about eight or 10 years ago during half time at a game and it was really nice. We've had the breakfasts and the lunches and the fair last year and this year they were so gracious to let us have our kick-off at the football game. The school employees have always supported the United Way and we appreciate it so much." Buchanan's inability to say no to those who ask for help is evident in the countless organizations and causes she's involved in, everything from the Kenny Rogers Children's Center to serving as a Sunday school teacher at the Eastside Nazarene Church.

Still, she always seems to find time for things that make a difference. "Sometimes I think I bite off more than I can chew," she quipped. "But I am a believer of helping people and that's actually all I do anymore. If I'm asked to do something and it's not something that's going to benefit people then I'm not interested in it.

"I think the United Way is very important to this community. Even though we don't give cash to individuals we can refer them to where they can get help for different things and if someone is in need of something and doesn't have a place to go they feel helpless. This year I'd like to see all of our board members and agencies get involved and reach more people than we ever have before."

Shy agreed, noting that there are many agencies who depend on the United Way. "We help so many agencies, we touch just about everyone."