Tulsa Area United Way optimistic about its fundraising campaign

Thursday, September 22nd 2005, 10:00 am
By: News On 6

We've talked a lot about all the giving to victims of Hurricane Katrina, but will there be anything left over for other charities? It's a definite concern.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says the hurricanes are happening at the same time the United Way is starting its annual fundraising campaign.

They think its great to help with the hurricane, but they also know dollars are finite. It might be stating the obvious, but Tulsa's needs now are still the same as they were before the hurricane.

United Way campaign chairman John Gaberino: "we can't forget about the people in this community."

It's not that The United Way doesn't want to help with the hurricane, it already is, through many of its member agencies, including the Red Cross, but now they're asking people to dig even deeper to help with our more common causes.

Of course, it's still early in the campaign, but so far there's no sign of a slowdown, in fact they say they're a little bit ahead of schedule. John Gaberino: "The Trailblazer, the 11 Trailblazer companies raised more money that not only the ones last year, but above their goal that was set. And so far, the campaigns that are running in the companies around the city are going really well. We've had companies call us that have not run campaigns before that have asked for and are now running campaigns."

Still, some of those efforts began before Katrina and definitely before Rita. Some think that people simply won't have anything left to give. But others think the storms will spur people to give more, because it's such a powerful reminder of why charities exist.

John Jacobs with Big Brothers-Big Sisters: "this particular set of circumstances makes people aware in several ways that there but for the grace go I."

The United Way will have a better idea of where things stand at the mid-point of their campaign on October 14th. The campaign runs until November 10th.