In the spirit of March Madness, you could say the local United Way hit a buzzer beater in meeting its fundraising goal.
A fundraiser on Friday that allowed employees at various businesses to wear jeans pushed the Prairieland United Way to its goal of $530,000. Executive director Lori Hartz says the final numbers aren’t in yet, but the not-for-profit was behind about $2,500 before “Jeans Day”.
As of February 26th, the United Way had been about $5,500 behind its goal, but picked up some new donations along the way. Hartz says allowing some workers in town to change their dress code was the final push that was needed.
“We were just really excited that so many businesses participated to help us get there. It was really incredible, because places that never got to wear jeans like many of the local banks- Jacksonville Savings Bank, Farmer’s State Bank, U.S. Bank- the employees at County Market,” she says.
“Just a lot of different local businesses that heard about the promotion, wanted to get on board, and it just made a huge difference. When we pool the large employers together, they can really have a huge impact on the campaign,” continues Hartz.
Hartz says the end of February is the typical target date for the end of the campaign, but it essentially went into overtime.
“We really have to end it before our first allocation meeting, because the process is, we raise the funds up through February and then in March, we hold the allocations meeting where we figure out how the funds will be distributed out among the social service agencies in our communities,” Hartz says.
“So before our first allocation meeting, which is next Tuesday, we had to shut the campaign off, and I’m really happy that we were able to do that about a week and a half in advance so we could get ourselves organized for that part of the process,” she adds.
Hartz says the new United Way campaign will begin in August.
Prairieland United Way serves Morgan, Scott, and Cass Counties, as well as northern Green County.