The rally starts at 7:45 a.m. on the Old Male High School campus on Brook Street.
United Way president and CEO Joe Tolan says it’s a way to re-energize the annual campaign, which has a goal to raise as much as last year’s campaign — $28.5 million.
“We probably need about $1 million or $1.2 million in order to get to last year’s total,” Tolan says. “And the conundrum this year is when it’s harder for many people to give or to give as much as they’ve given, we have a real spike in the need for services that has occurred and continues to this day.”
Tolan says the campaign has reached about 85 percent of its goal.
Tolan says the current campaign has been much harder than most because many companies participating in workplace giving activities have fewer employees and member agencies are seeking huge increases of need.
“If you look at things like emergency food, the jump in demand is in the neighborhood of 45 or 50 percent compared to a year or so ago,” he says. “And much of that demand is attributable to individuals and families who’ve never sought help before.”
Tolan says meeting the goal is even more important to member groups that also are coping with state budget cuts to social service agencies. He says this economic recession is causing member agencies to implement new strategies and pool more resources.
“All we have to do is look at what’s happening on state budgets, both Kentucky and Indiana, for the tightening of resources there,” he says. “And so realistically we have to look forward and say ‘OK, how do we do things differently than we’ve done them? How do we find efficiencies where we can?'”
United Way officials want to get 500 people to Tuesday’s rally so that it can cash in on a pledge by E.ON U.S. to donate $5,000 or $10 for every person who attends.