NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County United Way has confidence the community will reach a higher goal than what was set last year. In return, volunteers pledge to donors their donations will be used wisely. This morning was the kick off of the 2012 'Live United' campaign and it focused primarily on the benefits of serving others.
Budget worries are affecting United Way just the same as the rest of the nation.
"United Ways across the country are really, really worried about the economy. I mean they're tight," says Gary Lee Ashcraft, United Way director.
Nacogdoches County United Way responded to the struggle in a positive way.
"We raised our goal. We didn't slack back," says Ashcraft.
"Our goal this year is $325,000, so we got up early and we're kicking that off," says Betty Shinn, events coordinator-board member.
Board members are sensitive to people's tighter budgets, but they have confidence donors will respond to the concerns troubling non profits.
"With the economy like it is, it's going to trickle down and it's going to affect everyone, so we're really worried, sometimes, about our funding," says Tricia Hand, a non-profit representative.
United Way has always come through; in return agencies are asked to step up efficiency.
"Given the current situation, everybody is just going to have to run leaner and meaner," says Ron Johnson, a campaign co-chair.
Ninety-nine percent of all monies collected stays inside the community.
Loaned executives capitalize on that in campaign training.
"What we want to emphasize is giving back to the community because giving back to the community helps everybody," says Robert Rasberry, a Loaned Executive.
The SFA Lumberjack baseball team takes the mission one step farther.
Its coach is certain community service just makes a better person.
"Everyone's athletic ability, no matter how good you are, at some point is going to fade, but your soul will not. And what you give back to your community will help you with the development of that soul," says Johnny Cardenas, the SFA baseball coach.
Last year a majority of employees opted to do the "fair share contribution" which is an hour's pay per month directed to the United Way campaign.