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Local United Way Campaign Underway

United Way’s local branch held its kickoff for this year’s capital campaign this week at the ALIVE! Child Development Center, one of the agencies that receives support.

"This year’s kickoff event is a lot more low-key than folks have seen in the past,” said former mayor Kerry J. Donley, the local chapter’s campaign chair.

“We wanted to focus on the real families and children and organizations that benefit from United Way support. After all, that’s what this campaign is all about.”

Giving was down last year, as was corporate support, because of financial problems that plagued the United Way of the National Capital Region, the Alexandria organization’s parent group.

“The problems of the past are just that, in the past,” said Chuck Anderson, the new Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of the National Capital Region. “As the recent hurricane pointed out, anyone can have an emergency and need assistance. That’s what United Way does.”

WHILE ALEXANDRIA United Way hopes to raise $750,000 this year, Donley said that the number is not his focus. “My focus is raising money to support the nonprofits that depend on United Way,” he said. “We have seen some groups who did not participate in last year’s campaign return this year and with the real, substantive changes that have been made at the United Way of the National Capital Region, I believe that contributions will increase.”

That is the regional goal. “We may increase giving by one dollar over last year or by much more than that,” Anderson said. “We just want to make sure that we provide the kind of support to the nonprofits that is needed.”

Anderson said that campaigns will run into the early part of next year.