The United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties kicked off its 2016 Annual Campaign on August 16, 2016, with its Board of Directors setting a goal of $1,450,000, which represents an ambitious $115,000 increase over the $1,335,000 raised during the 2015 campaign.

“In 2015, 1 in 4 residents of Okaloosa/Walton Counties were touched at some level by one of the 43 United Way Agencies,” said Mr. Alan Wood of CCB Bank and the 2016 Campaign Chair. “Today, we recognize that members of our community are dealing with the additional financial strain caused by—among other things—increased health and food costs.  As these costs rise, we ask members of our community to not lose sight of the fact that they hit the 43 United Way agencies and the individuals they serve just as hard, or perhaps even harder, than they hit the rest of us.  So many individuals, families and neighborhoods are dealing with tremendous challenges every day that they can’t overcome without the much-needed, critical assistance provided by the programs United Way contributions support.”

“Meeting and exceeding this year’s goal is as important as it has ever been,” said Dr. Alexis Tibbets of the Walton County School District and 2016 Pacesetter Chair.  “Need has no sense of time or place. Reaching out to people who have immediate, basic needs—like shelter or a meal for a homeless family—is vital. The United Way will never walk away from that responsibility. Supporting programs that work within the critical areas of Children, Families, Health, Homelessness, and Stability provides an important foundation for a caring community.”

Chairman of the Board, Mr. Walter Hooks of Regions Bank said, “Through the United Way we can do even more because we also address the bigger, deeper issues. For instance, the United Way is committed to investing more time and resources on circumstances that result in family and individual homelessness. The goal is to advance the common good for our community by improving issues like school readiness, a stable living environment for children and youths, access to quality health/dental care, and taking care of those who need help. After all, helping those in need makes a positive impact in our community.”

The 2016 community campaign will run through November 23rd. If you or your company are interested in learning more about how to participate, or wish to make a donation, please contact United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties at (850) 243-0315.