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United Way trying to reach goal to avoid funding cuts

The United Way of Mountain City/Johnson County is struggling to meet its campaign objectives for 2012. They are approximately ten percent away from attaining the $38,500 goal that helps fund agencies throughout the county.
Ruth Ann Osborne, current president of the local United Way, is concerned that the tough economy has caused contributors to tighten their purse strings. “We have not increased our goals for several years because of the economy,” she said. Individual donations have decreased, as well as monies received from state and federal funding. Should their objectives not be reached, monies requested by the 16 agencies approved for assistance in 2012 will need to be scaled back. According to Osborne, the decision where to cut and how much would fall on the local United Way board of directors. “We’ve usually reached our goal by now,” she said. “We’re hoping we can come through with another ten percent.”
The United Way of Mountain City/Johnson County is made up of committed volunteers. “No one receives a salary,” said Osborne. “It’s strictly a volunteer organization.” The local organization keep their expenses to the bare bones. All donations designated for Mountain City and Johnson County remain at home.
The following 16 agencies were approved to receive funding from the 2012 campaign: The First District Fire Department in Laurel Bloomery, the Second District Fire Department that serves the Cold Springs area of the county, the Third District Fire Department in Trade, the Fourth District Fire Department in Neva, the Fifth District Fire Department in Dry Run, the Sixth District Fire Department in Butler, the Seventh District Fire Department in Doe Valley and the Eighth District Fire Department in Shady Valley. Applications for request for funding were also approved from the following: The American Red Cross, Johnson County/Mountain City Community Center, Johnson County 4-H Club, Johnson County Cancer Support Center, Johnson County Senior Center, Johnson County Safe Haven, Legal Aid of East Tennessee and the A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition.
The approved agencies receive their requested funds in four quarterly payments. The first payments typically are disbursed in March. “We would like to wrap up the year by the end of February,” Osborne said. Any donations that are received after the campaign has been closed will rolled into the next year’s fund. “We appreciate all the donations we’ve received so far,” she added.

Johnson County School System, Tennessee Department of Corrections employees and those who are employed by Johnson County itself may participate in payroll deduction plans that can designate the United Way of Mountain City/Johnson County as a recipient. Those who are interested in the program should contact Peggy Horne in the Johnson County Central Office building.