Copper Country United Way kicks off campaign

HOUGHTON – The Copper Country United Way is launching its annual capital campaign for human service needs in the area.

The agency hopes to raise $135,000 in the 2013-14 campaign, the same total as last year. The campaign continues until Feb. 28.

The money goes to 14 partner agencies: the Alzheimer’s Association, Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home for Abused Women, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Child and Family Services of the U.P., Dial Help, 4H of Houghton and Keweenaw counties, Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes, Hiawathaland District Bay-Lakes Council Boy Scouts of America, Keweenaw Family Resource Center, Phoenix House, Salvation Army, Western U.P. Healthcare Coalition and U.P. Emergency Medical Services. The American Red Cross, a recipient last year, withdrew its application this year.

Any local non-profit can apply for funding, said board president Grace Tousignant.

“We look at how many people they serve, we look at how they support the community, and we also look at their administrative costs, because we really want the majority of the money to go towards serving the community,” she said.

The agencies serve more than 30,000 people in the area, whether victims of domestic violence, people with housing problems or youths who need adult mentors.

“The 14 agencies do so much for all of our people in the community who are in need, or supporting our youth and helping with the aged,” said office manager Karen Sotala. “All the support that is given to United Way and goes to these agencies also brings funds to our community. It’s kind of a ripple effect – when these people donate to our organization, they’re helping these 14 other organizations, and each one of these depends pretty heavily on the funding they do get from United Way. If they didn’t get our funding, that’s something they’d have to fundraiser locally to make up any loss.”

People can contribute through payroll deductions, business contributions on behalf of employees or through personal contributions. Checks can be mailed to CC United Way, PO Box 104, Houghton, MI 49931. Credit card contributions can be made by logging into the CCUW website at