Carla Martin, 2012 Fall Campaign Chair for the United Way, speaks during the end of Thursday’s campaign meeting at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center in Pine Bluff. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)
Success is becoming a habit for the United Way of Southeast Arkansas.
The agency — hailed as a statewide pacesetter with its stability over the past five years — has already surpassed its 2012 fall campaign goal of $1.28 million with some contributions yet to be received and included in final figures. Campaign Chairwoman Carla Martin of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff announced Thursday afternoon that current collections total $1,280,495.
Martin said the campaign has brought in a record 520 individual PILLARS donations of $500 or more. She also related several other major increases in giving, including dollar target showings of:
• 155.5 percent among realtors,
• 152.1 percent among certified public accountants,
• 119.9 percent in special gifts,
• 110.7 percent among physicians, and
• 105.9 percent among dentists.
Other campaign highlights included:
• U.S. Steel’s employee contributions were up to $31,400, a 248.1-percent increase from last year’s $9,000 mark.
• Employee and firm gifts from Tyson Foods more than doubled, to more than $39,000 from last year’s $19,000.
• Evergreen Packaging’s employee donations were up by 14.1 percent at $46,000.
• Employee giving increased by 68 percent at Graphic Flexible Packaging Bag Plant.
• An average gift of more than $108 was received from employees of Brookshire’s food store on Dollarway Road.
• CenterPoint Energy Arkla had 100-percent employee participation with donations jumping by 49.6 percent.
• Employees of Washington Group, despite layoffs, continued their financial support, and the company gift grew by 10.8 percent.
“Pine Bluff has a very strong sense of caring for others,” Martin said. “This has been true in the past and is very evident this year. On behalf of the 26 United Way agencies and the individuals and families who are helped by them, I want to personally thank each and every one of you for your hard work and your giving in this campaign.”
“As we often say, let’s remember that neither the United Way nor partner agencies have needs,” said local United Way President Janice Acosta of Pine Bluff National Bank. “People have needs. Agencies have solutions.”
Martin introduced the fall 2013 campaign chairman, PBNB’s Steven Brown. After thanking Martin, Acosta and other past and present UW leaders, Brown offered praise to the UW staff here.
“I’m looking forward to the new campaign,” said Brown. “I hope to continue the success.”