LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -The United Way of Southwest Oklahoma has officially started their fundraising campaign.
However, while they usually kickoff the season with a gala, they are unable to do so because of the pandemic.
Instead, they are looking to virtually raise the money to still meet their 1.25 million dollar goal.
United Way funding is a huge asset to organizations like the C. Carter Crane Shelter. Jennifer Hough, their donation specialist, says the funds they get from United Way is a huge part of their organizations budget.
“We can use those funds in various ways,” said Hough. “We use them to house our clients, to buy supplies, to pay bills, to pay salaries.”
Not being able to hold their gala has tremendously affected the United Way’s interaction with their donors. However, President and CEO of United Way, Lauren Ellis says they’ve found a way to still invite their regular donors to continue their sponsorships.
“It’s been amazing how those companies and those corporate donors and individuals have continued their gift,” said Lauren Ellis. “And so we’ve actually made up for that loss in revenue due to our generous supporters which means a lot.”
One of those supporters is Cosmetic Specialty Labs. Even though the gala was cancelled, they say they didn’t think twice about continuing to donate this year, and hope others will do the same.
“Really reach into your heart and remember the importance the United Way of SWOK has to Lawton/Ft Sill, and the people in need,” said President/CEO of Cosmetic Specialty Labs, Jennifer Ellis. “And to really continue to pay that forward.”
Fundraising campaign chair Dustin Hilliary says they still have quite a ways to go to reach their goal.
“People can donate either through their businesses through payroll deduction,” said Hilliary. “They can contact United Way directly here and contribute if their business doesn’t participate in that. We’ll help them any way they can. If they have any questions, they can just call right here to the main office and they can help them through that.”
The money raised is distributed to organizations all across Southwest Oklahoma in the spring.
If you would like to donate, you can go to the United Way of SWOK’s website at www.uwswok.org, or find them on facebook.