Board members wonder what effect Katrina will have on local donations.
With all the concern and donations for survivors of hurricane Katrina, the local United Way board hopes you won't forget to support local causes as well.
"We, in this small community, need to realize we still have needs," said United Way of Clay County board member Lynne Llewellyn.
She expressed hope people will donate some of their money to the United Way campaign instead of sending all of it to organizations supporting hurricane victims.
Her concerns are echoed by another board member, Rick Burger, who is also involved in the Putnam County United Way and The United Way of the Wabash Valley.
"I am hearing people say they are shifting money away from other charities to help the victims of Katrina," Burger said.
Perhaps those people, some who are industry leaders, have friends or relatives who have been displaced by the hurricane, he said.
"Don't misunderstand me," Burger said. "The victims of Katrina are important. But don't forget local needs or people here will suffer, too."
Burger told other United Way board members to be prepared for a loss in revenue as a result of the gift shifting.
Despite a $1 million gift to aid Katrina victims, the Muscular Dystrophy Association's annual Jerry Lewis telethon received about $5 million less during the Labor Day weekend than a year ago. Locally, the MDA pledges were down nearly $500,000 than the previous year.
"Last year, the United Way helped 35,000 local people and that doesn't include the thousands of people who used the Brazil parks," Llewellyn said.
She is quick to say the people displaced by Katrina need help, but so do local people.
The 2005-'06 campaign is under way. So far, about $18,000 of the $110,000 goal has been given or pledged, said Cheryl Myers, secretary.
You can pledge or donate through the local United Way office, P.O. Box 753, Brazil, IN 47834 or by calling 446-2262.
The United Way of Clay County and The United Way of the Wabash Valley both welcome contributions but they conduct separate campaigns, Llewellyn said.