Great Rivers United Way falling short of fundraising goal

Organizers looking for final push during holiday season

It’s the final month for the Great Rivers United Way fundraising campaign. With a sizable shortage, however, they need your help this holiday season.

The Great Rivers United Way serves the community in a number of functions, including helping one organization deliver meals to those in need.

Mobile Meals of La Crosse is one of the organizations that rely heavily on donations from United Way.

“We deliver meals to homebound, elderly, and disabled people in the La Crosse area,” said Melissa Greco, director of the program.

Around 100 costumers use the service every day.

“Many of our recipients do not see anybody, so by having that volunteer come to their door, they’re very grateful,” said Greco. “Without United Way funding, these people who rely on our meals, who are specific for diet restrictions, I don’t know how they would receive their meals.”

Every year, United Way organizations across the country raise money through donations, but in the last month of its campaign, the Great Rivers United Way is falling short of its goal.

“The campaign looks like it’s going to come in at about $160,000 short of our goal, and we need some help,” said Jamie Korn, director of development for the organization.

Without more help, the mobile meals program may have to be cut back.

“In the past couple of years we’ve had to reduce two of our routes, and I couldn’t imagine reducing a third route, or even more,” said Greco.

“We really want to talk about what happens if we are short of that $160,000 and the impact that it has on organizations that rely on us for funding,” said Korn.

In the spirit of the holidays, organizers hope there’s one final push to keep programs for our area funded for next year.

“I think giving feels good. I think it feels great knowing you are making a difference in people’s lives,” said Korn.

“By giving to United Way, you’re giving to mobile meals, and to the other programs, and it’s very important for those in need,” said Greco.

In all, Great Rivers United Way serves four counties and 74 programs, including the Mobile Meals program, throughout the area.

Many donations come through pledges through work, where money can be deducted through your paycheck.

If you are interested in donating or any other volunteer opportunities please visit www.gruw.org for more information.

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