San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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October 23rd, 2008
United Way of Hays County kicks off annual effort to fund 21 area agencies that provide valuable services countywide

United Way of Hays County recently kicked off its annual fundraising campaign that raises program funding for 21 Hays County agencies that support strengthening families, helping children succeed, and promoting health and independence.Businesses throughout Hays County are encouraged to donate to United Way of Hays County through corporate contributions and employee giving campaigns, said Campaign chairman Matt Leschber.

This year’s kick-off luncheon, held recently at the San Marcos Activity Center, was characterized by high hopes and big promise for United Way of Hays. Leschber announced four goals for the 2008-2009 campaign, including being good stewards, growing consistently, supporting those who support United Way of Hays County and staying motivated.

Leschber pledged to continue to grow and accommodate the county’s expanding population and needs. “In the past, much of the support for United Way of Hays County has come from San Marcos residents and businesses,” said Leschber. “Now as the population and need for services shifts to other areas of the county, our base of support must expand.”

United Way of Hays County will continue to be a good steward of the donations and support they are give by “ensuring that all agencies are carefully screened for proper use of funds and to ensure they are serving our community,” said Leschber.

Finally, Leschber pledged the United Way of Hays County will stay motivated. He stressed the importance that everyone continue their work to better the community.
Leschber recognizes that while there has been progress, there are still many people in need of help, and the United Way of Hays County must stay motivated to meet these needs.

“Now is the season to do your part, to remember that it’s how we affect others’ lives that gives us true happiness,” said Leschber. “Through this United Way you have the chance to make a difference.”

United Way of Hays County executive director Bobbi Carmichael announced her retirement and passed the torch to new executive director, Michelle Harper.

After being the executive director for almost 15 years, Carmichael expressed nothing but extreme excitement for the future of her local United Way. “I’ve been around for a long time, and while I’m sad to be leaving my family at United Way. I look forward to seeing the great things that happen in the years to come,” said Carmichael. “I know we’ve got some really amazing people running things now.”

Top donors were also recognized at the luncheon. Leschber encourages the community to support these top donors. “Support will be given to those who support United Way of Hays County. Each business that donates to United Way of Hays County will receive recognition at all events, on publications and through word-of-mouth support,” he said.

The United Way of Hays County partner agencies play a vital role in carrying out the organization’s mission of building strong families, helping kids succeed and promoting health and independence, said Leschber.
United Way of Hays County agencies include Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Club of South Central Texas, Camp Fire USA, CASA of Central Texas, Inc., CFPO Police Athletic League Youth Sports, Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Greater San Marcos Youth Council, ECI Hay County HomeSpun, Southside Community Center, Combined Community Action Nutrition, Community Action, Central Texas Medical Center Home Health, Hays County Area Food Bank, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, American Red Cross of Central Texas, Central Texas Medical Center Hospice, Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, Hays Caldwell Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse, and Salvation Army Hays County Service Unit.

For information on how you can support United Way of Hays County or to receive campaign materials, please visit the website at or call 512.353.1420.

by Michelle Harper
United Way of Hays County

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