LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Whitney Grunder - email
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - A victorious tradition: painting their way to the top of the United Way sign as they exceed their goal of $540,000.
"To be able to make the goal 63 years in a row is just awesome," said campaign chair Jerry Huffman.
Huffman says generosity from within the county has been overwhelming.
"When you know how many people are involved and all the work that's been done you're just incredibly pleased," Huffman said.
Some went above and beyond their call to give.
John Havard of Lufkin Industries says the majority of employees donated including roughly 400 new hires.
"Over the last 10 or 12 years we've given an excess of $3 million to this organization and we're very proud of that," Havard said.
"They are the spirit of our community," Huffman said.
Twenty-one agencies will benefit from contributions.
"Now we're going to be able to go back to each agency and say 'hey, we've got a little more money. Is there something else we can help you with?'" Huffman said.
For the Angelina County Senior Citizens Center, United Way plays a huge role in keeping their services alive.
"We have a transportation program where we pick up our senior citizens if they don't drive," said Robyn Hight, the director of the center. "The meal on wheels is certainly the biggest part of it. We served 98,000 meals last year compared to 93,000 the year before."
Hight believes the center will receive more than their share of $45,000.
"We honestly could not continue the services that we have if we didn't have United Way," Hight said.
Giving volunteers reason to bear the cold once a week, until they can meet their final goal.
The Angelina County United Way campaign began in October.
This year, more than $660,000 dollars were raised.