HANNIBAL — The United Way of the Mark Twain Area is closing in on its $425,000 goal for the 2020-21 Be a Hero Campaign.
Denise Damron, executive director of the United Way of the Mark Twain Area, announced on April 1 a major push called “40 Days for $40,000” to help meet the aggressive campaign goal.
As of Friday, United Way reported the Be A Hero Campaign is within $14,000 of making goal.
“United Way through our donors and volunteers works in the community to create opportunities for individuals to give of their time, talents and treasures to make the community a better place for all,” Damron said. “The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for all the agencies that our donors help support.”
Damron said that each year, United Way has an annual campaign and dollars from the campaign are invested in local organizations that serve human needs.
“We are working to make the vision of United Way come to life in our community – a community where all individuals are empowered to achieve their potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives,” she said.
In addition to the Be A Hero Campaign, United Way created a COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Since March 2020, the COVID-19 Emergency Fund has raised and distributed nearly $200,000, which has been invested with Northeast Missouri human services groups to assist with shortfalls and increased need for services caused by the pandemic.
Forrest Gossett, the Be A Hero Campaign chair and 2021-22 president of the United Way of the Mark Twain Area, said the United Way board of directors set an aggressive campaign goal because so many people in the five-counties the organization serves – Lewis, Marion, Monroe, Ralls and Shelby – face economic hardships.
“We knew the need would be great,” said Gossett, who is editor of the Salt River Journal.
United Way has been working to finalize raising dollars to complete the 2020-21 Be A Hero Campaign, Gossett said.
“We knew heroes were needed after the year 2020 and all of the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic that are still impacting our community,” he said.
Each month over $20,000 goes out from United Way to local organizations selected to benefit from the United Way campaign. These dollars are from individuals and businesses.
“I am absolutely thrilled that we are getting so close to meeting the needs in our community in the toughest year I have been involved in our community and my 30 years of volunteering for United Ways across the country,” Gossett said. “The people and businesses of Northeast Missouri have big hearts. I am confident we will make this goal, and I promise to all our donors, we will be wise stewards of your donations.”
Damron said that people who want to help push the Be A Hero campaign can donate by texting ‘UWMTA’ to 26989 for a prompt to give, visit unitedwaymta.org, or mail payment to P.O. Box 81 Hannibal, MO 63401.