Local United Way campaign off to slow start

HOUGHTON – The Copper Country United Way 2013 campaign began in September, but officials with the organization are concerned about the slow pace of giving this year.

Karen Sotala, CCUW office manager, said pledges from both businesses and individuals are low.

“We’ve only gotten responses from 3 percent of our campaign letters,” she said.

Business responses from campaign letters are at about 2 percent, Sotala said.

The goal for pledges this year is $135,000, Sotala said. As of Tuesday, $30,781 was pledged.

“We have a ways to go,” she said.

Many Copper Country employers provide donation forms for payroll deductions to employees, Sotala said. For people working at businesses that don’t provide the forms, donations can be made online at coppercountryunitedway.org.

“It’s real easy to donate with a credit card or PayPal,” she said.

Sotala said 14 agencies are supported by the Copper Country United Way, and some of them depend on those donations to keep their budgets going.

She probably won’t know until the middle of January how many employers are using payroll deductions to donate to the CCUW, Sotala said.

Sotala said she urges businesses which don’t use payroll deductions to do some other form of fundraising for CCUW, such as having employees donate a certain amount of money on casual clothes days.

The funding the Copper Country United Way provides is important for many Copper Country organizations, Sotala said.

“The more we get, the more they get,” she said.