United Way still taking donations

By Liliana Castillo: Freedom New Mexico

While the official deadline for donations has passed, it’s not too late to donate to the United Way of Eastern New Mexico.

United Way officials hope area residents continue to donate to help close the gap between current donations and the organization’s goal.

Donations are at 76 percent of the goal for 2009, according to United Way of Eastern New Mexico Executive Director Erinn Burch.

So far, $439,143 has been donated which is about $90,000 less than was raised in last year’s campaign.

The goal for Curry County is $500,000 and $371,770 has been raised. Roosevelt County’s goal is $80,000 and $67,373 has been raised.

Burch said donations seemed along usual lines before the holidays.

“Some donations were up and some were down but overall were keeping steady,” she said. “Some businesses have waited ‘til the end of the year to make their decisions and some decided not to give or decided to give less.”

Burch said the organization starts the grant process in mid-February.

“We can keep adjusting what we have to work with until that moment,” Burch said.

Todd Morris, campaign chairman, said he hopes people continue to give.

“It’s been a rough campaign. It’s been rough raising money in an economically unstable environment,” Morris said.

Morris said the amount raised affects how much help United Way can give.

“Even if we don’t give, people still need. United Way has been in Roosevelt and Curry counties for 50 years so people depend on it,” he said. “A goal is just a goal. What we want is to be able to fund projects we’ve funded for years.

Burch said United Way of Eastern New Mexico funded 44 programs with 17 organizations last year.

Burch said when funding is low each program will receive less funding or UW will fund fewer programs.