United Way hears update, mulling goal

Rachael Keating/Clinton Herald2018 Clinton County United Way President Anita Dalton (left) presents outgoing president Sheila Martinez with flowers at the end of the 2017 annual meeting at Rastrelli’s Restaurant on Wednesday.

Rachael Keating 2018

CLINTON — The United Way of Clinton County, Iowa currently is 15 percent short of 2017’s campaign goal, but is continuing work to hit its $650,000 target.

2017 Clinton County United Way Campaign Chairman Justin Shaffer reported on Wednesday that, to date, the campaign has raised $553,234, which is about 85.1 percent of the $650,000 goal. Shaffer stated it was a tough year for the campaign and cited several natural disasters and local changes in employee campaigns. Shaffer said the 2017 committee will continue to work with the United Way office to collect any contributions they can.

Shaffer stated he does see positive changes in the Clinton County region and specifically in Clinton. He cited the experience of 2018 campaign chairman and Clinton School District Superintendent Gary DeLacy in bringing international students to the community beginning this fall. He also cited the Best Western Frontier opening back up as an Econo Lodge and Archer Daniels Midland’s recent announcement that it is investing $200 million in its Clinton facility.

“There’s a lot of great work that’s going on and there’s a lot of needs in our agencies to continue having a campaign at a very high level,” Shaffer said. “I would like to thank you all for what you did for this year’s campaign and wish you all the best with next year’s campaign.”

DeLacy served as a co-chairman of the campaign committee in 2017 and accepted the role of campaign chairman in 2018. The Clinton County United Way will have a campaign goal set either in March or April. DeLacy believes it is important to consider a realistic goal but also to set a goal in line with the needs of the community.

“The thing is the needs aren’t changing,” DeLacy said. “So it’s hard to say lower the number so it looks like we hit 100 percent of our goal when the needs are over that number. So I think that will be part of our discussion is trying to make sure we have a number that’s a very reasonable number, but I think the needs probably dictate that more.... So I think that’s kind of what my thinking will be is how do we find that right balance again. I know it sounds good at the reports if our percentages sound better but is that really modeling the needs that we have in this county.”

DeLacy has experience with the local United Way chapter, including when he served as principal of Camanche High School. He said that a decade ago he was involved both in the campaign and on a committee that helped decide how much to donate to each organization. DeLacy said one of his goals for the upcoming year’s campaign is to get better involvement among community members.

“How do you motivate everybody to give a little?” DeLacy asked. “If everybody in Clinton County gave a little, and when I say that, it doesn’t affect your standard of living. But you give a little bit. Whether it’s a dollar or two dollars every pay period. Most of us waste that money having to get the special coffee. It’s just something you would give up once a month or once every two weeks to say, ‘You know what? I’m willing to do that to help kids that actually really have needs or families that really have needs in this county.’ That’s, I think, the key is to get better involvement on a percentage basis.”

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