United Givers hoping to raise $125,000 for local charities

United Givers executive director Molly Johnson poses with supporter Brad Fortinberry.

Christmas is months away, but the season of giving has already arrived.

United Givers of Southwest Mississippi has kicked off its 2019 fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $125,000 for local charities by Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving.

Executive director Molly Johnson said this year’s goal is slightly more than the $120,000 goal in 2018.

“We beat it so we raised it,” she said.

Agencies receiving help from United Givers this year include the McComb Interdenominational Care Association, Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Mississippi’s Pike and Walthall County units, Santa’s Helpers, St. Andrew’s Mission, Guardian Victims Services, the Crisis Pregnancy Center of Southwest Mississippi, Southwest Mississippi Children’s Advocacy Center, Friends of the Library, Excel By 5 and the ARC of Southwest Mississippi.

Various fundraisers will be taking place throughout the campaign.

“We’re selling garbage bags through the end of September,” Johnson said, citing 55-count boxes of 30-gallon bags going for $12.

United Givers also is bringing back its 20 days of giving fundraiser, in which tickets for prizes worth at last $50 are sold for $20, and the prizes are given away on the radio throughout November.  

“We’re giving away a processed calf on Day 10 and then the last day we give away $500 in cash,” Johnson said.

On Oct. 24, the United Givers’ Cooking for a Cause takes place at Oak Hill Estates.

Tickets are $100, with beer, wine and a signature cocktail included. Local professional chefs will guide attendees in preparing their meal.

Businesses can make a donation or their employees can do payroll deduction, Johnson said.

“We have several that do payroll deduction,” she said.

Johnson said the fundraising is critical for local charities that work hard to make a positive change in the area, and no donation is too small.

“It’s very crucial because a lot of these agencies rely on our funds for matching grants,” she said. “A lot of them use what we pledge to them to receive matching grants, so it’s very important.”

MICA, for instance, uses the funds to purchase food when its pantry becomes bare.

“The main thing is all of this money stays local in southwest Mississippi,” Johnson said.

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