Donations falling short for United Way

NAUGATUCK — Donations to the United Way of Naugatuck & Beacon Falls have been down so far this year and organizers are hoping for a late push to meet this year’s campaign goal.

The goal for the 2015 campaign is $420,000, down $20,000 from the year prior.

As of Feb. 24, the campaign had reached 78 percent of its goal, or about $327,400. Usually by this point in a campaign, the United Way is about 80 percent or higher toward goal, said Lisa Shappy, executive director of the local United Way.

“There have been a lot of transitions in the community, with some businesses leaving,” she said. “That has an impact on donations.”

Sandy Lee, chairwoman of the organization’s marketing committee, said she believes the economy in this part of the state has not picked up as well as it has in other areas.

“That also impacts the amount of donations we are receiving,” she said.

While donations are lower, the needs remain high, according to Lee and Shappy.

They are pleading with residents and businesses for help.

“Whether you give $5, $500 or $5,000, it all adds up and benefits those who are trying to better themselves,” Lee said.

The organization has met its goals in recent years.

Whether that will hold true this year will be announced at the annual meeting on March 19.

People can give by visiting the organization’s website at unitedwaynaugatuck.org. They can also call the office at 203-729-1564.

The nonprofit United Way of Naugatuck & Beacon Falls serves the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Family Services of Greater Waterbury, Hidden Acres Therapeutic Riding Center, Literacy Volunteers of Greater Waterbury, Naugatuck and Beacon Falls Campership Fund, Naugatuck/Beacon Falls Scouting Fund, Naugatuck Police Explorers, Nutmeg Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury, The Salvation Army, Waterbury Arc, Waterbury Youth Services, Wellmore Inc., the Naugatuck YMCA and youth sports leagues.