SIKESTON -- Members of the United Way of Sikeston are currently working hard on their annual fundraising campaign. Just ask newly installed 2003-2004 chairperson, Donna Tippy.
"It's really a collaborative effort between everyone involved in the United Way," Tippy pointed out. "Glenna (Shy, campaign director) also works so hard to make the campaign a success."
During the first two weeks of August, packets are mailed to local individuals and out-of-town contributors. In an effort to receive funding, visits are also made to industries to promote the organization.
"I encourage everyone to continue their support to the United Way which helps many of our friends and neighbors in the area," Tippy said.
This year's kickoff for the campaign will take place during a luncheon for United Way board members and contributors Sept. 4. This is different from the previous two years' kickoff campaigns at the Sikeston High School football game. A Bingo Benefit will be held Oct. 4 at the Elk's Lodge.
"I hope we have a successful campaign this year," Tippy noted. "I hope we exceed our goal to assist our agencies."
United Way's campaign goal for 2003-2004 is $76,000. Last year the organization raised around $91,000.
Tippy's involvement with United Way began in 1999 when Tippy was asked to serve on the board and was given a designated area to work for donations.
As chairperson, Tippy's duties consist of assisting Shy with letters and meetings with businesses and individuals for donations. She also oversees committee meetings and fundraisers.
"Being chairperson is a lot of hard work, but it's worthwhile in the long run," noted Sarah Buchanan, past chair and current secretary for the United Way of Sikeston.
Buchanan said she and Tippy have worked together quite a bit in past years. Buchanan said Tippy works very hard and thinks Tippy will be a good chair person.
"Donna has been a member for several years and she's one of the hardest working people you will meet," Shy said about the new chair. "I'm really looking forward to this year."
In addition to its new chairperson, another change the organization has undergone this year is downsizing its board members from 27 to 21, Shy said.
"It's hard to get so many people together and hard to find a place to hold everyone," Shy explained.
While every agency is equally important, the House of Refuge for Abused and Battered Women and the Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence will be part of United Way's main focus this year since they're the newest agencies assisted by the United Way. They were just added last year, Tippy said.
Other agencies to benefit from the United Way this year include: Bootheel Counseling Services, Boy and Girl Scouts, Foster Grandparents Program, Kenny Rogers Children's Center, Delta Area Blind, Mission Missouri, Nutrition Centers, Sikeston Rescue Mission, transit systems and the YMCA of Southeast Missouri.
United Way is so important because it reaches so many different people, Shy said, adding that they reach every walk of life.
"Sikeston would really suffer without the United Way," Shy said. "It's a vital part of the community."
For more information or to make a contribution to the United Way, call (573) 471-0310.