United Way of Hall County announced a $1.8 million 2011 campaign goal at Thursday morning’s kickoff breakfast.
"We have a number of companies that led early campaigns to lay the cornerstone," said Jackie Wallace, president and chief financial officer.
The cornerstone companies raised more than $429,000 to start off the United Way fundraising efforts, Wallace said.
Last year’s goal was also $1.8 million. Wallace said United Way officials chose to keep the same goal after looking at where the money would be coming from.
"We did an analysis. We knew there were some areas we’d lose ground because of the economy," she said. "But we knew there were some opportunities for growth in other areas."
One area was the medical center, which Wallace said raised $10,000 more already as a cornerstone than it did in the 2010 campaign.
At the breakfast, community leaders and attendees assembled 500 Live It bags containing blankets, socks, toothbrushes, lip balm and other necessities to pass out to share United Way’s mission.
"We’re already hearing some of them have been given out to schools," Wallace said.
The organization has been around since 1948, a more than 60-year span full of "tremendous support" from and to the community, Wallace said. United Way helps to support many of the charitable organizations in Hall County.
Residents can donate to United Way even if their company is not a partner with the organization.
Wallace said residents can donate by check, phone or visiting the United Way of Hall County website. She said there is no suggested donation.
"It doesn’t matter what size gift you make. ... That’s what makes it work so wonderfully," she said. "When we combine your gift with my gift and everyone else’s gift, you get a huge impact."