By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Gainesville Daily Register
With their 2012 fundraising campaign only $80,000 from completion, Cooke County United Way (CCUW) organizers took to local streets Tuesday and “blitzed” area businesses in hopes of gathering more donations.
“This may not be a faith-based organization,” CCUW Executive Director Angie Hare said Tuesday morning. “But it takes a lot of faith to do what we do, and we’re on a mission from God. So when someone asks if we’re going to make the goal, I tell them we don’t have a choice because someone else is in control.”
The annual “Blitz Day” began in the parking lot of Prosperity Bank on California Street and later included a free lunch for the public. In the morning, Hare explained to volunteers that only a month remains before the campaign ends and the final goal of $398,000 is reached ... or is not.
“We have to,” Hare told fellow Blitzers. “Eighteen agencies are depending on us.”
The director admitted that this year’s fundraising campaign received a substantial boost during its “Pacesetter” phase, with Weber Aircraft (Zodiac Seats US LLC) contributing roughly $200,000. This an increase above the 2011 pledge and is an amount that arrived during September rather than October, as usual.
But Hare added that the final few weeks of any annual campaign are the toughest — and that one problem with volunteering for any fundraiser is that asking for funds is inherently difficult.
“That’s very hard to do,” she said. “Because you’re reluctant to go in and ask for their hard-earned money.”
The director said motivation for accomplishing this can vary, but her own involves a strong affinity for Home Hospice of Cooke County, one of the 18 beneficiary agencies that is partially funded by the CCUW and was responsible for the care of her elderly parents.
Hare told Blitzers she wouldn’t want anyone to experience what she did without the aid of the hospice organization, which always needs subsidies.
“It’s been four years since I lost my parents,” she said. “And what kicks my butt through the door to do a presentation is, I see both of my parents on their deathbed.”
During 2011, the 18 beneficiary agencies assisted more than 24,000 individuals and families. Given that the population of Cooke County is just more than 38,000, Hare said, chances are strong that everyone in the county who wasn’t directly assisted knows another person who was.
This year’s Blitz sponsors included American Bank of Texas, First State Bank, Hometown Radio (1580 KGAF), Muenster State Bank, Nascoga Federal Credit Union, Prosperity Bank, Turtle Hill Golf and Conference Center and Zodiac Seats US LLC.
Hare said future Blitzes are set for 9:30 to noon Oct. 11, at Muenster State Bank, and Oct. 18, on the Valley View square. For more information, call (940) 665-1793, visit www.cookeuw.org or see the organization’s Facebook page.