United Way of Abilene kicks off fundraising season

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Dozens of nonprofit and community leaders came together for the United Way of Abilene’s campaign kick-off breakfast on Thursday.

The theme for this year’s campaign is “Mind the Gap,” as a reminder to give back to our community.

“United Way feels like our calling and our mission is to put into place resources and agencies that can help meet the need of our precious neighbors in times that they need help and assistance,” says Director of Development, Katie Deal.

The actual numerical goal for the year hasn’t been set, but they are headed in the right direction.

“High and hard to reach in this economy, but this group that’s gathered here today steps up first out of everybody and kicks it off in a good way,” says Deal.

Those pacesetters make the first donations and leave the newly-appointed campaign chairs to raise the rest.

“It touches the lives of our students, our families in so many ways. As a school person I see it first hand,” says Dr. David Young, Abilene Independent School District Superintendent.

Dr.Young is one of the new campaign chairs after the amount the district raised increased by 20%.

“We just give our employees at campus or every department an opportunity to make either a one-time donation to the United Way or we allow payroll deduction on a semimonthly basis,” says Dr. Young.

With COVID-19 still taking a toll on people’s pockets, the goal will be hard to reach.

“The gap is going to be bigger than ever. If you look at what this pandemic has done to everybody, not just healthcare, but everybody in society in some level has been impacted,” says Brad Holland, Hendrick Health Systems CEO and President.

Holland is also campaign chair and says he’s confident Abilene will be able to answer the call for action.

“If you look across the country you’re not going to find the level of support in a community like this. West Texans step up and this is just going to be another year that they step up in a big way,” says Holland.

United Way also presented $50,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations during the morning kick-off breakfast.


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