United Way close to reaching goal

Tony Parra

The United Way of Roosevelt County has raised more than $56,567.25 and they are closing in on the ultimate goal of $70,000 on Wednesday.
The sign in the downtown area has shown the amount over the $55,000, short of the goal, but only inches of red paint short of reaching the top of the thermometer. The $56,567.25 is the last updated amount, according to Everett Frost, United Way of Roosevelt County treasurer, currently. United Way of Roosevelt County President Rick Hauptmann said United Way fell short of reaching it’s goal of $70,000 last year. Hauptmann has been on the board for eight years and has been the president the last two years. Hauptmann said the United Way of Roosevelt had raised $55,000 by Nov. 20.
Last year the United Way of Roosevelt County was $20,000 short of the $70,000 goal seven days before the deadline, according to a Dec. 8, 2002 issue of the Portales News-Tribune.
A disturbing trend has been going on with charities since the events that transpired shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, according to Hauptmann.
“I’ve seen the amount of contributions go down nationwide,” Hauptmann said. “A lot of charities are having difficulties meeting their budgets. People were giving a lot of money (immediately) after Sept. 11 but that money has dried up in the last year.”
The United Way Fund receives money from the community to donate to local agencies, such as the community services center, Boy and Girl Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, Literacy Council and the Shelter for Domestic Violence to name a few.
“Most of the money we receive goes to senior meals,” Antonia Encinias, community services center fiscal officer, said. “We asked for $26,000 this year, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s how much we’re going to get. We received over $20,000 last year.”
The community services center offers home care, food deliveries and adult day care among other services.
“They (United Way) help us a lot with these programs,” Encinias said. “The state cut funding for our home care and the adult day-care programs. The money helps compensate for the state cutting funding. It helps give our clients service.”
United Way of Roosevelt County began raising money with the kickoff dinner on Sept. 25. The money collected for the United Way is dispersed to the different agencies, according to Hauptmann.
“The community services center receives the largest contribution,” Hauptmann said. “We budget the money and a committee reviews the budget to figure out the best way to allocate it.”
The United Way of Roosevelt County is composed of 12 volunteers. Hauptmann said most of the volunteers work full-time and that anyone can volunteer by contacting Hauptmann at 356-6623, extension 12. He also said that donations can be sent to P.O. Box 231 in Portales.