As the end of the year approaches and United Way of the Pennyrile's employee campaign recently ending, the nonprofit is hoping for more donations to meet its goals.

At this time, United Way has raised an estimated $700,000 for the four counties it serves.

In September, during its campaign kick off, United Way revealed fundraising goals of $48,000 for Caldwell County, $775,000 for Christian County, $41,000 for Todd County and $42,000 for Trigg County.

Currently, funds raised are short just over $200,000 of the total goal of $906,000.

On Nov. 1, United Way concluded its Employee Campaign, where its employees give back a portion of their earnings to the county they reside in. Following the deadline of the campaign, United Way is slowly receiving the total number of funds raised as employee packets come in.

Letha "Annie" Catron, President/CEO shared that so far, the overall campaign has been going well, but it will take a hit after the announcement of Ebonite's closing.

"It's been well -- we wrapped up our employee campaign and we're just waiting for those numbers to come in," Catron said.

"Our campaign will take a hit with the closing of Ebonite and we were very sad to see that happen. They've been a great partner for us for many years and in fact, they were one of our top 10 campaigns. They were a really giving group of individuals."

With that though, Catron also shared that United Way is partnering with local non-profits to organize a resource fair for the Ebonite employees who lost their jobs. She said it would be in conjunction with the job fair the West Kentucky Workforce Board is hosting.

Despite taking a hit from the loss of Ebonite and currently being roughly $200,000 short of the campaign goal, the nonprofit is feeling positive at this point of the campaign.

"We're really excited about where we're at, but we know that there's still needs in the community and things like the closing of Ebonite could create more need," Catron said.

"So, we're really hoping the community rallies behind not only those individuals but the rest of the individuals that are seeing services on a regular basis."

There are a few events United Way is hosting in November and December, giving opportunities to raise additional funds before concluding the 2019 campaign.

The first will be an event held during Small Business Saturday this coming Saturday, Nov. 30. United Way is partnering with Downtown Renaissance to do the Third Annual Name Your Favorite Business Contest.

With this event, anyone can donate a dollar to United Way to name their favorite business within in Hopkinsville. The business with the most votes would then be recognized by United Way via social media and receive an award during the United Way campaign celebration dinner next year.

Beginning Tuesday, Dec. 3, United Way will be launching a Facebook fundraiser campaign known as Giving Tuesday. United Way is asking anyone to donate any dollar amount online to reach the Giving Tuesday's fundraising goal of $5,000.

However, Catron explained that anyone can donate any amount they'd like at any point to United Way before the year is over.

"We did quick math and just $5 for every resident in Caldwell, Todd and Trigg counties would more than fund our agencies requests in those counties," Catron said.

"And then in Christian County, $11 for every resident would full fund the agencies there. That's just a one-time donation (for the year).

"It's never too late to make a donation. However, you see fit. Donations are the way that we ensure our partner agencies are able to continue to help the community."

United Way of the Pennyrile helps fund 20 nonprofits across those four counties. Some of those agencies include Sanctuary Inc., the Boys and Girls Club, the Dyslexia Association, Trace Industries, The Salvation Army and Pennyroyal Hospice, to name a few.

United Way revealed during the 2019 campaign kickoff that 74,355 people in the Pennyrile region were helped by United Way in 2018.

"What's raised here, stays here" is the motto of this year's Vegas-themed campaign for United Way of the Pennyrile, meaning that the money raised in each county stays in that county to help fund its nonprofits.

If you would like to donate, you can visit the United Way of the Pennyrile's Facebook page or visit its website at www.pennyrileunitedway.org.

Reach Avery Seeger at 270-887-3236 or aseeger@kentuckynewera.com. Follow him on Twitter @AveryNewEra

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