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Changes in store for Weirton United Way’s 2020 campaign

WEIRTON — The Weirton United Way’s annual giving campaign is moving forward, although it will be quite different from years past.

The United Way’s 2020 campaign officially got under way Monday, with campaign team members invited to stop by the organization’s Main Street Weirton office to pick up their packets. Unlike in prior years, there was no photo taken of representatives of the 12 member agencies receiving money from the campaign.

There also will be no official goal, no campaign chair or vice chair, no report luncheons and no thermometer display to update the community on the campaign’s progress.

According to Executive Director Linda Stear, those changes were made as a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced adjustments in many areas of the community.

“We just decided to take a step back and do what we have to do,” Stear said, noting the United Way is still hoping to raise enough funds to assist the needs of the member agencies.

In the early stages of the pandemic, following the issuance of Gov. Jim Justice’s “stay-at-home” order, United Way officials made the decision to cancel the traditional United Way Golf Classic, which would have been held in June. To date, there have been none of the usual fundraisers and activities, although plans are in place for the Weirton United Way Fall Golf Tournament, set for Sept. 26 at Mountaineer’s Woodview Golf Course. Campaign officials are hoping for other activities, if possible, Stear said.

Stear said having no other events will have an impact on the campaign.

“Our special events are a huge part of our campaign,” Stear said, explaining of their regular $240,000 goal, special events routinely are responsible for bringing in $100,000 each year.

In addition to the two golf tournaments, those events have included a Turkey Trot 5K in November, a fashion show and the annual Pre-Super Bowl Party in January or February.

In the meantime, members of the campaign team will be reaching out to area businesses to seek contributions, and Stear said those wishing to support the Weirton United Way are being encouraged to make donations directly, by mailing them to Weirton United Way, 3970 Main St., Weirton, WV 26062.

“Any amount counts,” Stear said, reminding residents all donations to the Weirton United Way stay local. “They’re not going anywhere outside of our community.”

Member agencies benefiting from the Weirton United Way’s campaign are the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities West Virginia, Community Bread Basket, Dunbar Recreation Center, Healthways Inc., Hancock/Brooke/Ohio/Marshall Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, Hancock County Sheltered Workshop, Hancock County 4-H Foundation, Mary H. Weir Public Library, Salvation Army of Hancock and Brooke Counties, Weirton Medical Center and Weirton Christian Center.

“The United Way has been here for 84 years,” Stear said. “We’re so happy the community has always been there for us.”

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