Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Give. Advocate. Volunteer.

By: Darren Groce, Former GLUW President

Our Greater Longview United Way makes a huge difference in our community, affecting the lives of tens of thousands of our neighbors. With this in mind, I had a fair amount of trepidation when I assumed the responsibilities of President of the GLUW Board last year. A prime concern of mine was to make sure that all of the good work of GLUW continued without skipping a beat.
We all know of the annual fundraising campaign facilitated by GLUW. Last year, GLUW received pledges of some $1.3 million dollars during the campaign, which is a phenomenal sum. But, GLUW is more than just a fundraising campaign. We are out to actively address and solve community issues. For example, two of our initiatives last year sought to successfully launch a home repairs program and a legal assistance program. When GLUW last conducted a Community Needs Assessment, two critical needs were identified that up to that point were not being met – low cost home repairs and affordable legal assistance. We are proud to say that a minor home repairs program is now up and running, and we partnered with Lone Star Legal Aid to provide funding to hire another paralegal. The home repairs program has now completed 16 projects, and Lone Star Legal Aid (“LSLA”) has been able to just about double their case load (for 1st five months of GLUW funding, LSLA was able to resolve 175 cases, compared to 89 cases resolved during the same period for the previous year).
We also modified the format last year of our annual campaign kick-off luncheon. It’s a little tweak, but we like it. Historically, we have brought in speakers from outside Longview to impart some words of wisdom to the 600 or so in attendance. We decided, though, to instead use the words of a number of individuals who benefit from the programs GLUW helps fund. In particular, one speaker gave a personal account of his life with drug addiction and how his life has been completely turned around through a GLUW-funded program. A dry eye could hardly be found on the faces of those in attendance.
GLUW does change lives. It changes the lives not only of those who are in need and participate in one of the many programs GLUW helps fund, but also of those who volunteer behind the scenes. I have been affected because I have seen the positive difference our volunteer efforts make. I have seen the incredible programs administered by incredible local agencies. And I have seen how hundreds of volunteers can get pledges from thousands of individuals and companies of about $1.3 million dollars to help fund those incredible programs. I am honored to be able to give back through volunteering with GLUW.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Come join the Movement and help change our community!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thanks for joining together to raise $1,294,713 !!

Local United Way falls just short of campaign goal

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Greater Longview United Way raised $1.294 million in its 2009-10 campaign — almost 98 percent of the $1.325 million goal, Executive Director Donna Mahurin said Thursday.

"We're pleased that we came so close to meeting our goal," said campaign chairman Richard Lazarus. "In this economy, the fact that we were only 2 percent below what we aimed for says a lot about the generosity of our community."

Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo

Campaign Chairman Richard Lazarus fills in the final update Thursday to the Greater Longview United Way donation thermometer.

The group also met 98 percent of its goal for the 2008-09 campaign, Mahurin said. However, the local group has been doing better than the national average.

"While we didn't raise quite as much as we were aiming for, we'll still be able to do a lot of good with these funds," she said.

Although national figures have not been released, Mahurin said an informal survey showed other United Ways of similar size across the county had an average of a 4 percent decrease in the amount raised for 2009-10 as compared to the 2008-09 campaigns.

The United Way serves as an umbrella fundraising agency for other nonprofit organizations in the community. In May, the United Way will begin allocating money from the campaign to programs run by the various partner agencies, which should receive the money by the end of that month, Mahurin said.

"While we feel fortunate to have raised as much as we did, the sad thing is that demands for the services of our partner agencies have been increasing," Mahurin said.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Word from GLUW's Campaign Chairman

I have had a great time this year as GLUW’s campaign chairman. It is a great feeling to be part of such a dedicated team. With the important initiatives begun last year and coming to fruition this year such as the Leadership Development Committee and the Communications Committee along with the outcomes of our World CafĂ© board retreat, there is a clear pathway for success in the future. These endeavors help us focus on our mission as much as a campaign goal. Looking back, I am honored to be listed with the group of leaders that have served in the past. Looking forward, I hope to continue to be able to work with future volunteers to meet the needs of our community.

Richard Lazarus