United Way helps people stay warm

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2006

By Rebecca Houg, staff writer

Staying warm this winter is something families shouldn&8217;t have to worry about in Freeborn County.

United Way of Freeborn County runs a campaign each year in the fall. The money they raise is used to evaluate and fund programs that help the needy &8212; agencies such as Semcac provide financial support to pay heating bills.

United Way will be hosting a fundraising event called Keep the Fires Burning on Thursday to demonstrate this need and encourage donations. Volunteers will collect donations from people as they drive by the Northpark Plaza parking lot in Albert Lea from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. that day.

Northpark is along Bridge Avenue across from New Denmark Park.

Each time a donation is made a stick will be added to the fire to help &8220;keep the fires burning&8221; for the 18 agency partners of the United Way of Freeborn County. KATE and Power 96 will broadcast from the parking lot and interview agency representatives and volunteers. Read the Friday edition of the Tribune for coverage.

Representatives from United Way are asking area residents to support the final days of the 2006 campaign and to help make a difference in the lives of thousands of Freeborn County residents.

As of Monday, the organization was about halfway to its goal of raising $540,000. With only a couple weeks left to the Nov. 30 deadline, solicitors are out working hard to make their contacts and collect the needed funds.

Recent participation reports featured Kleen Tech with 100 percent participation, Alamco with a $1,500 increase from last year and a wine-tasting fundraiser brought in $4,500.

The campaign chairs from this year&8217;s campaign are Phil and Mary Bartusek.

United Way is more than just a fundraiser; employees work year round after the campaign assessing community needs, evaluating programs, coordinating volunteers and communicating with donors.

If readers are interested in making a donation or learning more about the programs United Way supports, please call its office at 373-8670.