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The last big push is under way
United Way deadline for 2010 is Jan. 31
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Forsyth County News
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The United Way of Forsyth County will accept pledges for the 2010 campaign through Jan. 31. To make a pledge, go online at or call (770) 781-4110.
While January means a beginning for many organizations, United Way of Forsyth County is wrapping up its annual push for campaign pledges this month.

Ruth Goode, executive director, said Jan. 31 is the last day for businesses or individuals to commit to the local United Way’s annual fundraising effort.

“Some large companies start their campaigns in August or September for the fall, but many campaigns are just now getting going,” she said.

Whether the businesses have been raising money for months or are just now taking commitments, Goode said, January is the “last big push.”

The organization, which distributes funds to numerous nonprofit partner agencies countywide, kicked off its 2010 campaign in September with a goal of $1.45 million.

Based on pledges so far, Goode said the organization is about halfway to its goal.

“Now we’re at $769,000,” she said, adding that she and other United Way leaders are “cautiously optimistic” they’ll reach their mark.

Due largely to the faltering economy, pledges fell about $200,000 short of last year’s $1.672 million goal.

“People are still really fearful of what might come,” Goode said. “There’s still reductions in work hours and companies are still losing employees. In that respect, we’re still as bad off as we were last year.”

Goode added that the majority of United Way’s funds come from the business sector, which continues to suffer.

“Eight of our largest [business] campaigns are down about $42,000 this year. So we hope citizens will be able to make that up,” she said.

“If anyone has an extra $25 now, or if they think they’ll have an extra $25 in July, we really need those commitments before Jan. 31.”

The urgency stems from the surge in requests for help over the past couple years.

“We can use any pledge amount because the need is so tremendously more this year,” Goode said.

Last year, the organization saw a 56 percent increase in requests for basic life expenses, such as help paying rent, mortgage and utilities, she said.

Last month, the number of families requesting holiday help for their children doubled from Christmas 2008.

“If they can just pledge now and give us the money any time in 2010, that would be a great help,” Goode said.