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STARKVILLE, Miss. — Changing the calendar from one year to the next often signifies a new beginning for many individuals and groups, but for the United Way of North Central Mississippi, it means continuing its efforts to raise money to support 15 area charities.

United Way leaders kicked off the 2014 fundraising campaign four months ago and are still working to raise as much money as possible for the charities the organization supports. Normally, the campaign would have ended in December, but efforts are ongoing.

“With the recent tough economic times, our agencies have been affected,” said Nikki Rives, United Way executive director. “We believe it is important for us to continue raising money to help our agencies be effective in helping people in Starkville, Oktibbeha County and beyond.”

Another reason for continuing the campaign is that several businesses are still conducting United Way fundraising efforts with their employees and have yet to submit pledges, Rives said. Campaign efforts on the Mississippi State University campus are also ongoing, Rives added.

With funds still being received, an exact campaign total still being tabulated, Rives said Monday.

“We received some campaign materials from a couple of businesses this week, and we still have some campus divisions who are working to get pledge information to us,” Rives said. “Knowing this, we also want to give others who have not yet done so an opportunity to make a campaign gift or pledge.”

One local business – BancorpSouth – saw 100 percent of its employees make a United Way campaign gift or pledge, Rives said.

“That kind of support for the United Way is phenomenal, and we do not take it for granted,” Rives said.

Charitable agencies receiving United Way funding include the Northeast Mississippi chapter of the American Red Cross, the Area Agency on Aging/Fellowship Foods/Homemaker Service, the Boy Scouts of America, the Boys and Girls Club of Oktibbeha County, CONTACT Helpline, the Father’s Child Ministries, 4-H Clubs, the Girl Scouts, Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity, Helping Hands Ministries of Oktibbeha County, the North Mississippi Kidney Foundation, the Oktibbeha County Humane Society, the Salvation Army, Safe Haven/the Rape Crisis Center and the Sally Kate Winters Children’s Home/Sally Kate Winters Family Services.

Specific statistics demonstrating the impact the individual agencies are making are available on the United Way’s website at http://www.unitedwayncms.com.

“The statistics provided by our agencies reflect the impact that they are making across our area. The dollars they receive from the United Way play a significant role in helping them make a difference in the lives of countless people every day,” Rives said.

There are several methods of giving to the United Way of North Central Mississippi each year:

Payroll deduction – The United Way, at a donor’s direction, will work with the donor’s employer to deduct a specific amount from the donor’s pay each pay period.

Fair Share – A form of payroll deduction, this simply means the donor agrees to give one hour’s pay per month.

One-Time Gifts – Payable by cash, check or credit card, this donation is made one time.

Billed Gifts – The donor may elect to have their credit card billed monthly or quarterly for a specific donation amount or may choose to be billed monthly, quarterly or annually and pay by cash or check.

For more information about giving, contact the United Way office at (662) 323-3830 during regular office hours – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Monday to Friday or visit the website at the address listed above.

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