By Todd Cohen
HIGH POINT, N.C. — Tina Harp had lost her job, her home was in foreclosure, and she could not make her mortgage payments, and faced homelessness for herself and her three children at Christmas time.
So she visited the Salvation Army of High Point.
In addition to providing financial assistance for her mortgage payment, the agency asked if she needed holiday gifts for her kids.
Six year later, having found a new job, Harp learned the Salvation Army needed volunteer bell ringers to help solicit donations for the Christmas season.
So she invited her three children to volunteer with her.
“She’s like all of us,” says Bobby Smith, president of United Way of Greater High Point.
“You think you may not need the help,” he says. “Then you’re in a situation where you have to turn for assistance, and you get help, and when you get back on your feet, you’re wanting to help others.”
Harp is one of three people featured in an eight-minute video produced for United Way and its annual fundraising campaign by Digital Production Group in Greensboro.
Chair by Tim Ilderton, owner of Ilderton Chrysler Dodge Jeep, the campaign aims to raise just over $4.6 million, the total United Way raised last year, when it exceeded its goal by $177,000.
United Way’s annual campaign grew 5 percent last year after growing four percent the year before, enabling United Way this year to invest $3 million in its 29 partner agencies and their 70 programs it funds.
United Way also made one-time “venture” grants totaling nearly $50,000 to one of its partner agencies and to eight other agencies that are not United Way partners.
The total raised last year did not include any significant one-time gifts, and United Way anticipates no significant losses this year, Smith says.
That’s good news, he says, because the demand continues to grow for health and human services at United Way’s partner agencies.
That is particularly true for basic emergency needs, such as food, clothing, shelter and assistance with mortgage payments, rent, utility bills and consumer credit counseling, Smith says.
“United Way and its agencies are addressing the most critical needs in our community and doing so in an effective and efficient manner,” he says.