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United Way short of goal
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Newton County non-profits have bare food shelves, empty coat racks and dwindling bank accounts, but the local United Way should still raise $400,000 this year.


The board of directors for the Covington Newton County United Way aimed high for this year’s annual fundraiser, setting a goal of $475,000, but has raised about $395,000 as of Tuesday.


Executive Director Doris Strickland said she was determined to at least reach the $400,000 mark, which should allow the United Way to provide minimum funding to the 22 organizations that benefit from the campaign.


She said Tuesday that she expects to raise the remaining $5,000 from some local banks that haven’t finalized their donations.


“It’s a sign of the times (that donations are down), but people are giving,” she said. “They just can’t give as much as they have been, but we’re getting $2, $3 and $5 a paycheck. That means a lot to all of us right now.”


Much of United Way’s funding comes through employee payroll deductions, but donations declined as businesses have had to cut employees or reduce pay, she said. Last year, United Way lost a company that had been donating $30,000. The board has set a $475,000 goal for two years, because it has wanted to keep aiming high, she said.


United Way supports 22 non-profits, including the Community Food Pantry, Habitat for Humanity and Newton County Special Olympics. United Way also applies for federal grants on behalf of non-profits valued at $300,000 a year.