United Way seeks help this holiday season

Organization falling short on fundraising goal

United Way seeks help this holiday...

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - A local fundraising agency is in jeopardy of falling short of their annual campaign goal.

And without community donations, some area organizations could feel the impact.

The Great Rivers United Way is about $220,000 short of their fundraising goal, which ends in January.

But the organization is hoping the generosity of people during the holiday season will help them hit their target.
Majel Hein is the program director for Consumer Credit Counseling Services of La Crosse.

"If it has to do with your financial goals, it's something we can help out with,” Hein said.

More than 1,000 people have come here in the last year to get back on financial track.

"Money causes us not to be able to sleep,” Hein said. “We don't eat. It affects a lot more things than what's going on in your bank account."

Every year, the Great Rivers United Way funds programs like Hein's, but with a little more than a month to go, the organization could use some help.

"At this stage in the game, we tend to fall into a 'where are we compared to last year, what does the end look like,' and right now the end looks like we're going to fall short,” Mary Kay Wolf, executive director for the Great Rivers United Way, said.

Meaning programs could be in danger.

"We would have to cut what we would normally have been giving out because we didn't just reach the goal,” Wolf said.

"It defeats the purpose if we charge people money to talk about money, and that's where the United Way Funding comes in,” Hein said.

In the spirit of the holidays, however, organizers remain optimistic there's one last push to keep these programs funded for next year.

"It's important to remind people that a gift to the United Way is more than a donation, it's an honest investment in the community," Wolf said.

"The thing about the La Crosse community though is we see a needs and we come together as a community to make that happen, because we know our community needs help,” Hein said.

A report by the United Way shows that around 42 percent of the region is essentially living paycheck to paycheck.

Which they show is further proof as to why services like the Consumer Credit Counseling Services are needed.

Donations can be made online to, or you can donate by mail or in person to the Great Rivers United Way office.

The office is located at 1855 E. Main St., Ste. A, in Onalaska.

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