United Way Executive Director Dan Schiedel said the organization reached $770,971.77 in funding, far above the goal of $750,000. He said a generous contribution from the late Dr. Robert Shuttee and his family helped to meet and push the United Way over the top of its goal.
"It was like you’re driving a race car at 220 miles an hour, and you finally let off the gas pedal ... and what a blessing. That’s all I can say. It was such a blessing to see the generous hearts of people and the outpouring of support for the United Way," Schiedel said.
Schiedel gave special thanks to fundraising campaign chairs Mike Stuber and his wife Sara, the board and president April Danahy, executive committee, executive assistant and everyone who donated or contributed to the campaign.
"It was a great effort together," Schiedel said. "That’s contributions, those are funds that we’ve received ... and some in-kind, that’s been part of it. There were nearly 70 donors that helped us with the 100 for $100,000 campaign, but really Dr. Shuttee and their family helped us to meet the $750,000 goal and push us over the top."
Stuber said he's grateful for the fundraising, and also that United Way won't have to decrease funding for its 16 member agencies.
"We’re certainly grateful for all the people that really stepped up and made it happen. I know it’s been a challenging year for charitable giving all around and to get this goal means a tremendous amount to those member agencies, and we’re just happy to be able to get it done and not have to decrease their funding," Stuber said.
He said next steps include getting the funding allocated for the member agencies, and "playing catch up" since United Way had to extend its fundraising campaign to reach the goal.
"This way we don’t have to cut anyone’s funding, because in times like these, it just makes it harder because the need, usually there’s more need and when we cut funding it exacerbates the problem," he said.
United Way's partner agencies include Booker T. Washington Community Center, Cimarron Council Boy Scouts, American Red Cross serving Northwest Oklahoma, Community Development Support Association, Catholic Charities, Consumer Credit Counseling, Denny Price Family YMCA, Garfield County Child Advocacy Council, Hedges Regional Speech and Hearing Center, Human Services Alliance of Greater Enid, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, RSVP, Salvation Army, YWCA of Enid and Youth and Family Services.
Danahy said she's thankful to the community, and grateful to live in an area that recognizes the need local nonprofits have to help others.
"Well the best thing about meeting our goal is being able to provide funding to all of our agencies. All 16 of our agencies will receive funding which will allow them to serve those in need in our community, so what I’m looking forward to most is to see those most in need getting a helping hand up and our community organizations that we serve being able to do that for us," she said.
Danahy added her pride for everyone involved in the fundraising campaign, and the numerous events and community members that stepped up to help.
"The challenges facing our community were there and we were able to tell the story of the United Way and our 16 agencies to the people of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma and they responded," Danahy said. "It’s people helping people ... it takes everybody and our United Way campaign shows it can be done."