"We are kicking off a month earlier than usual," said Glenna Shy, executive director of the United Way of Sikeston.
Sarah Buchanan, chairman for the 2004-2005 campaign, explained board members hope that with the earlier start campaign volunteers will be able to finish sooner.
"Otherwise it drags into the next year," she said. "We always want to have it wrapped up by Thanksgiving but we never do."
"It's very important we get as much money in as we can so we can give support to the agencies that need it," Buchanan added. "The goal this year is $78,000. The goal was $76,000 for four years and we decided to raise it just a little, but we really want to meet the goal."
As part of the United Way's kickoff this year, a special section appears in today's Standard Democrat with pictures and contact information for each of the 15 agencies who receive support from the United Way of Sikeston. "The money that we get stays in our area," Buchanan said, "not other places."
During Wednesday's kickoff, Buchanan reviewed dates for the United Way's schedule. On Sept. 9, campaign workers will have a lunch meeting to report on their progress, and on Oct. 2, the United Way will have bingo sponsored by the Elks at the Sikeston Elks Lodge.
The campaign wrap-up meeting is scheduled for Oct. 7. "All the areas should be worked by that time," Buchanan said.
Buchanan has become very familiar with the campaign chairman job during her eight or nine years on the Sikeston Area United Way's board of directors. "This is my third time at it," she said.
"After I retired I needed something to do," Buchanan explained. She decided on community service. "That's about all I've done since I retired," she said.
In addition to serving on the United Way's board, Buchanan has served nine years on the Kenny Rogers Children's Center Board of Directors, on the newly-formed advisory board for the Sikeston OAKS Center, the advisory board for the Foster Grandparents program and as a board member for the East Side Church of the Nazarene in addition to other volunteer work.
"She's just a good volunteer - she thinks a lot about the United Way," said Shy. "She gives 150 percent."