BRENT STEWART

president, CEO of the United Way of Great Kansas City

1 The United Way just wrapped last week its United for Hope/United to Help campaign. What was the purpose of the campaign?
 The United for Hope/United to Help fundraising campaign is a community-wide effort, led by United Way and more than a dozen local foundations to help individuals and families affected by the downturn in the economy. Every dollar raised will go to help low-income families afford essentials and prevent homelessness and hunger. The money will provide additional resources for emergency assistance programs, shelters and health clinics in the community. 
 
2 What was the financial goal of the campaign?   The goal was to raise as much money as possible to help people who have lost their jobs, are in danger of losing their homes or are struggling to afford food and medicine or to pay their utilities. 
 
3 What amount of money was raised during the campaign, and to whom will those funds be distributed?
Donations received during the United for Hope/United to Help campaign totaled more than $2 million. The money we raised will be distributed in two ways. The first is to provide immediate emergency assistance grants to help specific low-income individuals and families impacted by the economic downturn. The second is to provide additional financial resources and program support for agencies that are considered “first responders” to the economic crisis. 

4 Will the United Way be unveiling any similar unique campaigns in the near future?
   We are not planning any other special fundraising efforts at this time, but we can’t predict the future. While the United for Hope/United to Help campaign is officially over, we are hopeful additional donations will come in and we will gladly accept them and put them to work helping people in our community. There is no doubt that the effects of the depressed economy will continue to be felt throughout the year.  We are planning to make a second round of grants to emergency assistance providers towards the end of the summer, including half of the money raised so far and any additional dollars that are contributed. 
 
5 Lastly, are donations accepted by the United way year-round and if so, how can businesses or individuals donate?
 Anyone who would still like to make a donation can do so online at www.unitedwaygkc.org or by writing a check to United Way. If they want to contribute to the United for Hope/United to Help campaign they need to indicate so on the memo line of the check. Otherwise, their donations will go to support health and human service programs at more than 140 agencies United Way supports in the community.   Checks should be made payable to United Way and mailed to: United Way of Greater Kansas City, 1080 Washington St., Kansas City, MO  64105. Businesses or individuals can also donate merchandise or surplus inventory to help local nonprofit agencies and their clients through United Way’s Gifts in Kind program. The number for people to call who are interested in making such donations is 2-1-1. 
Toriano Porter