United Way halfway to annual goal, director says things on track

By Sharna Johnson

United Way of Eastern New Mexico has raised less than half its goal for the campaign, but the organization’s executive director said she is not too concerned.

“This is always the nail-biting time of the year,” Erinn Burch said on Friday.

“I would say that I’m anxious but I do feel like we’re on track.”
In September, the non-profit agency set its annual campaign goal at $412,005 in Curry County and $70,000 in Roosevelt County.

“We’re currently sitting at 45 percent of our goal (a little under $240,000),” Burch said, citing pledges received so far. Final numbers will be tallied in the last week of December.

Burch said the Gulf Coast hurricanes have not hindered local donations — they may have even helped.

“I think we kind of tiptoed into the season,” Burch said. “In hindsight, I feel that that was a mistake.”

National relief efforts for hurricane victims have raised public awareness regarding local needs, Burch said.
“Work-place campaigns are responding to the message that disaster can strike everywhere — even here,” Burch said.

Clovis Municipal Schools Assistant Superintendent Michael Irwin agrees.

“People realize … how important it is to help our community,” he said

Clovis schools have raised more than $61,000 for the campaign, about 22 percent more than a year ago, Burch said.

Burch said the campaign goal is well within reach and she believes United Way is reaching the community with its message.

“When you’re entering into the holiday season you take stock of your own life and remember the people that have less,” she said. “United Way is one of the best (charities) because it does go to the most vulnerable in our community.”

United Way of Eastern New Mexico helps fund more than a dozen non-profit organizations in Curry and Roosevelt counties.