The fundraising goal for 2019 will be announced later this year.
Times are tough all over — even for the United Way.
The Burlington/West Burlington Area United Way barely missed its annual fundraising goal last year because of what they saw as a sagging economy and decreasing population numbers.
K.C. Fleming, vice president of allocations for the United Way, is determined to not let that happen again. But it will be hard, especially since the area's population isn't increasing.
"It's been more and more difficult these past couple of years to reach our goal," Fleming said during a United Way luncheon Friday afternoon. "Don't think of this as a finely tuned machine that happens every year. We need you to be involved."
The fundraising goal going into 2019 will be announced later this year, and most of Friday's luncheon consisted of the annual membership meeting and board of directors re-organizational meeting. That included the naming of campaign cabinet members.
Outgoing general campaign chairman Aaron Baltisberger received a plaque for his past year of service. Tim Roberts, a local lawyer with the Anderson, Roberts, Porth, Wallace and Stewart Law Firm, was named 2019 general campaign chairman. Melissa Jones, with Great River Health Systems, was named 2019 general campaign associate.
The United Way has donated more than $11.8 million to local agencies since 1996 and will be distributing money to 14 agencies this year. Fleming said one in two people living in the area use the services they help fund, ranging from addiction treatment to selling Girl Scout cookies.
"It's a pretty sizable impact on our backyard, and a lot of those agencies wouldn't be able to do what they do without the United Way," Fleming said, noting the programs help 50,000 locals annually.
The agencies receiving money from the United Way include: Alcohol and Drug Dependency Services of Southeast Iowa; the YMCA; Burlington Homeless Shelter; Crime Stoppers of Greater Burlington; Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois; Hope Haven Area Development Center; Iowa Legal Aid; Mississippi Valley Boy Scout Council; The Nest of Des Moines County; Partners; RSVP; The Salvation Army of Burlington; and Young House Family Services.