United Way readies for Wednesday kickoff

Published 12:00 pm Monday, September 14, 2015



Football is back, pumpkin spice flavors have hit shelves and the air is a bit crisper, which means its time for United Way to launch its annual campaign.

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United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County will kick off its 45th annual campaign Wednesday with a community luncheon at noon at the Oxford Conference Center.

“Our L-O-U community will come together for a kickoff almost every weekend this fall,” said Executive Director Alice Ricks. “We hope everyone will join us for a different kind of kickoff Wednesday.”

Ricks said the nonprofit’s mission is to improve lives and community needs by uniting people and resources locally and does it by counting on local contributions through individuals, corporations and local business fundraising drives.

“United Way funds programs, convenes issue-driven coalitions and serves as a resource to individuals and organizations, with a focus on ensuring that all Lafayette County residents have the building blocks of a good life: quality education, good health and a stable income,” Ricks said. “Each year, 99 percent of the funds raised in Lafayette County stay in Lafayette County, with just 1 percent going to United Way Worldwide as a network membership fee.”

The nonprofit provides financial support to dozens of community organizations and reviews those allocations yearly, and this year’s campaign goal will be announced Wednesday.

“Each year, United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County provides hundreds of thousands of dollars to programs and coalitions serving Lafayette County,” Ricks said. “The needs in our community are high and requests for funding far outstrip its availability, making a successful 2015 campaign critical for L.O.U.’s future. Last year, United Way raised approximately $530,000 — this year, we are aiming even higher.”

In addition to new fundraisers, this year the United Way campaign will include “Why I Live United” testimonials from six people in the community.

“At this year’s kickoff we’ll spotlight a few of our many supporters — people who are donors, volunteers, agency partners, board members and beneficiaries — and they’ll share their personal reasons for living united,” Ricks said. “We hope the community comes and is inspired by their words.”

Ricks encourages residents to come out for a free lunch and learn about the nonprofit and how one donation can reach dozens of people in need right here in the L-O-U.

“Oxford and Lafayette County have such great resources, but there are many people who live here who face enormous challenges every single day,” she said. “United Way and our partners want to make a real and lasting difference.”



Want to help?

For information, contact Alice Ricks at alice@unitedwayoxfordms.org or 662-236-4265.