Volunteers gathered Tuesday morning to kickoff the 2016 Salina Area United Way Campaign.
Executive Director Amanda Michaelis told KSAL News at the event that the theme this year is “You Are Here.” The theme derives from a question that community members were asked a couple of years ago. She said that they simply asked “what this place needs.” And what was the answer? Programs that are helpful to members in our community. Michaelis added that “everywhere community members are is here”.
The 2016 campaign will help fund 20 agencies with 70 programs.
There is no specific target goal. The agency typically raises between $800,000 and $1 million each year, and that’s what they hope to do again.
As part of the event Tuesday morning a special award recognizing a volunteer was give out. The first every “Nancy Klostermeyer Award for Service” appropriately enough when to Nancy Klostermeyer, who was the long-time executive director of the Volunteer Connection and is still active in the community. The organization no longer exits. In lieu of it, the United Way now organizes a “Volunteer Hub”.
Those at the event helped with a service project that involved about 8,000 books. Volunteers placed a label into each book cover, which will become the nameplate for children to own the book. The books will end up in the hands of grade school student in Salina. The United Way has identified early reading as one of the foundations that helps students graduate from high school and strengthen communities.