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Metro United Way Raises $27.5 Million

The Metro United Way has topped last year’s fund raising effort with its latest campaign.  The organization raised $27.5 million, a $400,000 increase over last year’s total.

The organization did not set a public goal for this year’s campaign.  CEO Joe Tolan said the idea was to help people understand that even with the enormous success of the fund drive, there is always more need. With the economic downturn, more families have been on the edge and continue to struggle.

“So we asked folks, if you have the capacity to do more, would you consider giving a hundred and ten percent give a ten percent increase to what you gave before,” Tolan says,”and we had more than 9,000 individuals and more than 400 companies step up and say: ‘Yes! I will;’ and that’s where the increase comes from.”

The campaign ended Wednesday.

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Day Of Service Exposes Need For Volunteers

Saturday is an official citywide day of service. And the event has exposed a strong need for volunteers and charity across the city.

Mayor Greg Fischer and the Metro United Way first put out the call for volunteers and projects for those volunteers to work on late last year. Kelly Garvey with the United Way says she expected about 30 nonprofits to submit projects, and about 300 people to volunteer.

But 64 projects were submitted and more than 700 volunteers signed up. Garvey says one thousand volunteers were requested, but the registration had to be closed Thursday for organizational reasons.

Garvey says volunteers are welcome to sign up for other projects on other days.

“I don’t want to give the impression that days of service are just one day here or there,” she says. “There are opportunities listed and needs happening every day.”

Fischer has said more days of service will likely be declared. Volunteers who still want to help this weekend are being asked to donate goods to the needy or volunteer with Brightside.

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Metro United Way To Celebrate Fundraising Campaign

The Metro United Way will celebrate its 2010 fundraising campaign Wednesday.

The ceremony does not mark the end of the campaign, which runs through March. Instead, officials will give an update on this year’s fundraising. While previous campaigns have sought to raise nearly 30 million dollars each year, spokesperson Mark Zanni says there was no goal for 2010.

“This year, we knew that the need was so large, we could never meet the total needs of our community,” he says. “Our goal was really an ask. We asked people, if they could give, to give 110%.”

Zanni won’t reveal how much money has been raised until Wednesday morning, but he says by all indications, donors have been generous. He says if this year’s campaign is successful, the United Way may not set a goal for next year’s campaign, either.

By this time last year, the United Way had raised more than $24 million toward its $28.5 million goal.

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Metro United Way Receives $200,000 Challenge

An anonymous donor has pledged a large sum to the Metro United Way if the agency can raise the same amount by month’s end.

The United Way will get a $200 thousand matching grant if it’s able to generate the funds before 2008 comes to a close. Spokesperson Mark Zanni says he expects the organization to meet that goal.

“Now is the most heavy time that we experience and so we should be able to easily reach that, not easily, but we should be able to reach that,” he says.

Zanni says so far this year, Metro United Way has raised $24 million.