United Way needs community help, usual campaign stalled |

Bonnie Arnold

As with most nonprofits relying on community donations to fuel their programs, the United Way started their 2019-20 fundraising with a goal of raising $215,500 by Aug. 31 this year; and a list of recipients they have already committed to help.

Jenny Moebes, director at the local United Way office, continues to work with her local board of directors to try to meet that goal, but the COVID-19 shutdowns have hurt their efforts.

“The agencies we help are hurting every day,” Moebes said. “And we typically rely on presentations at area businesses and companies to have people sign up to give through payroll deductions. We were cut off when they were cut off in the quarantine and businesses were closed. We’ve used ‘snail mail’ addresses and we have online donation capacity, too. But that alone is not as effective.”

She said no board member presentations are planned at businesses right now, but they are hoping to get in front of even small groups as soon as possible.

That list hopefully includes the City of Kerrville, James Avery Craftsman and Peterson Health, she said.

One positive thing was that she and her board had an agreement at the end of March with H-E-B to have the ‘tear-pad donations” at the checkout lanes in all their Texas stores go to the United Way for a certain time period. Grocery store customers could choose to give $1, $3 or $5 that way.

Here is Moebes’ and the United Way’s contact information, so area residents who feel they can donate can still give to help with this year’s campaign.

The mailing address is “Kerr County United Way, P.O. Box 290561, Kerrville, TX 78029.”

Her office phone in the American Red Cross Building at 333 Earl Garrett St. is 895-1555; leave a message if she is not in. Office hours are listed as 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Her email address is director@kerruw.org.

United Way has been helping Kerr County organizations, and donations, pledges and corporate gifts will continue to be collected through August.

There is a “Donate” button on the United Way website at www.kerruw.com; and gifts can be given online.

Recipient organizations

The 26 recipient agencies in 2019-20 include Families and Literacy, Inc.; Hill Country CASA; K’Star; Kerr County 4-H; Boy Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters; the Salvation Army; and American Red Cross.

Others are Girl Scouts; Christian Women’s Job Corps; Any Baby Can of the Texas Hill Country, Inc.; The Pregnancy Resource Center; Kerr County YMCA; Hill Country Crisis Council; Art2Heart; New Hope Counseling Center; Dietert Center; Christian Assistance Ministry; and Habitat for Humanity Kerr County.

And others benefiting from this campaign are Kerr County Child Services Board; Kerr County Young Life; The Ultimate Gift of Life; Volunteer Services Council at Kerrville State Hospital; and the Youth Education Support Center.

Some examples provided in recent years of donation amounts and how each can help include:

• A mentor/mentorship program can be supported by $1,000;

• One family can get counseling for more than two years for $500;

• Two weeks of child care for a toddler costs $250;

• A $100 donation pays a scholarship for a Kerr County 4-H teenager to attend the Leadership Retreat;

• The Red Cross can provide about 45 “comfort kits” containing toiletries for disaster victims who have lost their homes, for a $100 gift;

• A gift of $50 buys food for two people for five days at the Christian Assistance Ministry.

“Even though we ask only once a year for your United Way pledge or contribution, please remember that your one contribution is hard at work, making a difference in countless lives, right here in Kerr County every day,” she said. “Because of you, tomorrow we can teach an adult to read, provide low cost child care, feed an elderly adult and provide clothing, shelter or help to those in need.”

The volunteers who serve on the local Kerr County United Way board are dedicated to seeing that gifts are wisely invested in the programs they support.

The leadership for United Way includes Kenneth Early, president; Kyle Bond, vice president; Buddy Volpe, treasurer; and Pete Calderon, secretary.

Directors are Gregg Appel, Jill Sadberry, John Hewitt and Karen Guerreiro.

They encourage area businesses to support payroll deductions that support United Way.

All money contributed in Kerr County stays in Kerr County.

In 1887 in Denver, Colo., a diverse group of five community leaders came together to improve community conditions. The campaign they created became one of the most important social inventions in history and sparked a movement that established United Way. Today, more than 1,800 community-based United Ways in 41 countries and territories are part of the movement.

For more information, call 895-1555, or e-mail Moebes at her office.

All donations are deposited directly into the Kerrville-based account for the benefit of Kerr County agencies that they support.

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About the Author: Bonnie Arnold

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