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United Way launches $9.11 campaign

United Way St. Croix Valley is launching an emergency appeal to close a $131,000 shortfall in last fall's campaign.

"What keeps me up at night is the ever-increasing number of people needing help at a time when United Way St. Croix Valley has been forced to cut funding to nonprofit agencies and United Way initiatives," said Executive Director John Coughlin.

United Way St. Croix Valley is asking people to make a one-time gift of $9.11 to close the gap.

"The 911 appeal is just what it sounds like -- an emergency appeal to help us provide safety net services for those most in need," Coughlin said.

The key objective of the drive to close the gap is to ask many people to make a very modest contribution. The goal can be met if about 14 percent (14,400) of the population in Pierce and St. Croix County donate $9.11. Coughlin noted that the gap could be closed a lot quicker with donations of $911 by those with the capacity to do so.

Linda Lia, operations and marketing manager, acknowledged that "many people in the community have already donated but we are asking them and those who haven't given yet to pledge $9.11."

United Way will try to raise the money without the expense of county-wide mailings by using the media, word-of-mouth, company intranets, social networking sites and the www.united Web site.

"We are counting on people to rise to the 911 challenge to help those with nowhere else to turn," Lia said.

The 911 campaign will run from May 13-June 12. Coughlin said that he has a dream that our communities will be able to come together on a warm Friday in mid-June to celebrate the drive's success.

"I know that these are uncertain times when many of us are wondering about our own futures but I believe that people will rally to lend a hand to those that are already suffering," he said.

To donate, send a check to the United Way St. Croix Valley, 516 Second St., Suite 214B, Hudson, WI 54016. Online donations can be made at the United Way Web site or through the United Way St. Croix Valley Facebook Cause.