United Way of Abilene 2022 Campaign off to strong start

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – United Way of Abilene kicked off their 2022 Campaign bright and early Thursday morning, donating $50,000 to 11 local nonprofits.

Goldfish were the centerpiece for each table, with the motto ‘just keep swimming’ resonating in every speech.

President and CEO of United Way Cathy Ashby said that they’ll “keep swimming through the ups, downs and the pivots.”

Several nonprofits met at Matera Gardens Thursday morning to be awarded Catalyst grants by United Way, but also to celebrate the Abilene community that has stuck with them throughout the pandemic.

Jan Morrison, development director at Noah Project, said that through United Way’s and the community’s funding they were able to build a new wing at their facility.

“We have a whole new wing that we are able to isolate possible COVID cases in,” Morrison said. “We have the ability to do in-house quarantine, but also have the resources to book our clients a hotel room if we need to.”

Morrison gave high praise to the City of Abilene and the community for all of their donations and support, as well as tender hearts in a time that saw financial crisis strike households across the nation.

“People think about those in need,” Morrison said. “Even during the pandemic and natural disasters.”

Big Country CASA Executive Director Lee Ann Millender said that the pandemic heightened their concerns for foster kids across the state.

Millender said that through the funding they were able to set up Zoom and FaceTime calls with their kids, as well as help lay the foundation for this year.

“We’re being very creative in how we adjust to the pandemic, continue our work in seeing the children, recruiting volunteers and raising enough money to support us as a nonprofit,” Millender said.

All 11 recipients of the grants said they were grateful for United Way, as well as the Abilene community, for their support.

“Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” Morrison said.

United Way of Abilene said they have already reached 40% of their yearly annual fundraising goal.

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