United Way of Bartholomew County celebrates $4.1 fundraising campaign

COLUMBUS, Ind. — It seemed fitting that Three Dog Night’s classic hit “Joy to the World” was part of the United Way of Bartholomew County’s annual meeting soundtrack Tuesday afternoon at The Commons in downtown Columbus. Because a world of joy permeated the proceedings to celebrate the local nonprofit’s successful $4.1 million fundraising campaign.

And it was a campaign completed under not only the economic strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the challenge of mostly online business and corporate campaigns that normally thrive on the in-person, emotional heartbeat of United Way’s very personal touch to help clients, often with severe, eleventh-hour needs of food, jobs, health care and more.

The gathering before an estimated 300 people overflowed with emotional stories of once-struggling clients finding independence via a host of United Way agencies working together, or as the agency’s slogan proclaims, “living united.”

In fact, that slogan was spelled out in giant letters on The Commons stage. It represents way more than dashing decor, according to Cathy King, United Way’s community impact director.

“We all really do work closely together,” King said, adding that many clients with multiple needs use the services of as many as 15 United Way programs to get needed help.

For the complete story, see Thursday’s Republic.