Archbold, OH

United Way Needs Extra Push: Saaf

Gina Saaf, director of the Fulton County United Way, said she is projecting this year’s fund drive will be about $12,000 short of raising $320,000.

The fund drive collected $322,000 in 2011.

“We’re not going to get there without a little extra push,” she said.

“We’re still wrapping up some payroll deduction campaigns from local businesses. I expect them to come in about even (with last year) because that’s what they’ve been doing.

“We’ve fallen short on the business and residential side.”

Fulton County United Way provides money to 23 groups, organizations, and agencies such as Habitat for Humanity, Hands of Grace, Northwestern Ohio Community Action, and Wauseon FISH, along with United Way inhouse programs.

If the fund drive falls short, some groups will be fully funded, while others will be cut back. The decisions are based on the agency, sustainability, program, and need.

Programs supported by the United Way typically impact more than 15,000 county residents each year.

Typically, the programs fully fund essential services.

“If at all possible, we fully fund those,” she said.

“Last year, we were coming off a recession. In the past, we’ve raised $350,000 to $360,000. We don’t want to go backwards.

“It’s been a rough few years for all of the agencies.”

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