Tiffin-Seneca United Way has reached 95 percent of its goal, or $451,223.
"We are proud of the response we've received from the community to this year's campaign," said Jeannine Curns, campaign vice chairwoman, in a news release. "We are well on our way to achieving our goal of $475,000.
"For those folks who haven't made a contribution, it's not too late," Curns said. "The campaign will continue until March 31. We hope people will know that a contribution to United Way is an investment in our community."
"We are all very excited to be so close to our goal," said Chairman Bernie Steinmetz. "We have lived through very challenging economic times over the past couple of years, yet our neighbors and friends in this community have responded to the ever-increasing needs. We hear bad news each night during the news, but the true story of our country lies in the generous giving and caring acts that oftentimes don't get publicized. We wish many thanks to everyone who has answered the call to help others."
Money raised in the annual campaign stays in the community to help residents of Seneca County. Volunteers are local business people who believe in helping their community.
"The United Way focuses on working together by giving, advocating and volunteering," said Executive Director Pat DeMonte.
Several campaign divisions have reached or surpassed goals: Commercial North (110 percent), Commercial South (132 percent), Downtown Merchants (153 percent), Restaurants (186 percent) and Industrial Corporate (128 percent), all passed the 100 percent mark.
The rest are almost there: Real Estate and Insurance (99 percent); Professional Medical and Hospital (96 percent); Schools (95 percent); Nursing Care, Assisted Living and Agencies (97 percent); Industrial Employees (97 percent); Building Trade Professionals (92 percent); Special Gifts/Residential and Seniors (94 percent); Finance (94 percent); and Government City and County (98 percent).
"This is the first time that I remember so many of our divisions reaching their goals at this time of the year," DeMonte said. "The United Way campaign has reached the hearts of the community and people are stepping up to offer their support.
"People see others in need and are willing to give even through rough times," she said. "We have faith in the community, to help us reach, and even surpass our goal."
While the United Way is raising funds, it also is staying active in other community initiatives.
The "From the Heart Food Drive," which runs Sunday through Feb. 12, is sponsored by the Mayor's Task Force and plans to collect donations of non-perishable food items, personal care products, cleaning supplies and paper products with the help of volunteers. Anyone interested donating can drop off items at Tiffin-Seneca United Way, 201 S. Washington St.; Heritage IGA Family Center, 747 W. Market St.; or at many local churches.
Volunteers from Heidelberg University, Tiffin University and other local schools are to take the donations to The Salvation Army, 505 E. Market St. Items are to be distributed to FISH of Tiffin, The Salvation Army food pantry and the Morrison House, a new transitional housing facility to open soon in Tiffin. All three agencies serve Seneca County residents.
The third annual cornhole championship, the last event of the campaign, is set for 2-4 p.m. March 20 at Camden Falls. The cost to sponsor a team is $50 per two-member team. The winning business gets the cornhole championship traveling trophy to display at their business, as well as other prizes. To register, call (419) 448-0355 or visit www.tsunitedway.org.
"The campaign is not over yet," DeMonte said. "People are coming together stronger than ever, and they are the ones making a difference and strengthening the fabric of the community."