United Way short of goal needed to help ‘overwhelmed’ agencies

Additional $75,000 needs to be raised in six weeks
Ozaukee Press staff

United Way of Northern Ozaukee is lagging behind its goal of $400,000 with just about six weeks to go in its annual campaign even as needs increase across the board.

The campaign, which ends March 31, is about $75,000 short of its goal, Executive Director Barbara Bates-Nelson said.

The money is needed to meet the increasing needs faced by the 14 programs provided by 12 nonprofit agencies funded by United Way, she said, noting funding requests from these agencies increased 22%.

“We have heard from our nonprofit partners that they are worried about their ability to meet demands for services in the coming year,” Bates-Nelson said.

“Plagued by economic instability, they are overwhelmed with the growing demand for immediate access to food, housing and mental health services.”

Craig Modahl, president of the United Way board of directors, noted that this year’s goal increased slightly from last year to meet that larger demand.

“We’re trying to be realistic and optimistic,” he said.

“As we’re coming out of all the mess of the last few years, there’s been a lot of stress on the system, especially in human services,” Modahl said. “The need has risen quite a bit. We’ve made it through the pandemic and are seeing the difficulties people are experiencing long term.

“It’s always a struggle to get the support we need to help fund our partner agencies. They are pressed right now. They’re trying to raise money and we’re trying to raise money.”

Bates-Nelson noted that more than 7,000 Ozaukee County residents benefited from programs funded by United Way last year.

In addition to the programs funded by the nonprofit groups, Modahl said, United Way is fully funding the Community Services Navigator Program it started with five of these agencies.

The program provides a centralized source of information and a trained coordinator to help individuals access the health and human services they need to make a long-term difference in their lives, he said, noting it’s often difficult for people to find the services they need on their own.

The economy has stressed not only human service agencies but the public at large, Modahl said.

“I would guess that’s part of it,” he said. “But we also have people continuing to reach out and provide what they can.”

Bates-Nelson added, “We are fortunate to have a philanthropic community that recognizes that our neighbors face real challenges in trying to make ends meet during this time of uncertainty.”

Port Washington State Bank is stepping up to help meet the goal by issuing a challenge grant, pledging to match the next $17,000 raised by United Way.

That has prompted the Port Washington-Saukville Rotary Club to pledge $2,500 to the campaign and Jim and Chris Asplin of Newport Partners Wealth Management to commit $1,000.

Donations to United Way may be sent to P.O. Box 39, Port Washington, WI 53074 or online at unitedwayno.org.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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