25 United Way’s magic number

August 24, 2011 • Local News

Twenty-five just m[auth] ay be the magic number for this year’s United Way of Chaves County’s fundraising efforts.

That is the percentage increase that this year’s goal is from last year’s campaign. This increase is not all about breaking one’s record—it’s about meeting the community’s needs.

“We need to look at needs, not just what we raised last year,” said Perry Toles, who is co-chairman of the campaign along with his wife Sherri. Last year, the UWCC  raised $460,000 to help nonprofit organizations. This year’s goal is $575,000. To help achieve this 25 percent increase, Toles said fundraising efforts have been increased by 25 percent.

The campaign, which officially kicked off Aug. 15, began by seeking out the help of slightly more individuals from last year — about a 25 percent increase.

Toles jokingly added that the campaign began 25 percent sooner this year. However, the campaign did begin sooner — in mid-August, as opposed to September.

Toles’ new campaign strategy also involves an attempt to be more personable.

“We’re going to really try to put a more personal touch in the campaign,” he said. So far, this has meant being more open and communicative with those who are already on board, while reaching out to new and potential donors.

“I’m encouraging the campaign Cabinet to make an emphasis on … contacting our friends, people who have not participated in the campaign, find new donors,” Toles said.

Toles said the UWCC is particularly important because it helps fund agencies that may not be able to raise the much-needed funds on their own.

“I am so excited to be part of the United Way campaign,” he said. “We are the largest fundraising effort in Chaves County, bar none.” 

Sherry Mumford, executive director for the UWCC, said United Way member agencies get designated funds — donations that are designated to a particular agency — but they also receive a portion of the overall funds the UWCC receives. These member agencies are the American Red Cross, the Assurance Home, the Boy Scouts Conquistador Council, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Roswell, Chaves County CASA, Chaves County J.O.Y. Centers, Esperanza House, Family Resource & Referral, Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest, Roswell Literacy Council, The Roswell Refuge and The Salvation Army.

Affiliate agencies — those that only receive designated funds — are Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern New Mexico, The First Tee of the Pecos Valley, and Wings for L.I.F.E.

Individuals from these member agencies must make a formal presentation to the UWCC in which they petition for a certain amount of funding. Members of the UWCC consider the nature of the agency’s services and how many people the agency helps when allocating funds. Mumford said there is a difference between an agency such as the Assurance Home, which houses 30 children 24/7, and an agency that may serve hundreds but only for a small amount of time.

To find out more about the UWCC, including how to donate, call 622-4150 or visit

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