Sioux Empire United Way Raises $10.2 Million

Largest campaign in the organization's 85 year history

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To celebrate 85 years, the Sioux Empire United Way set a fundraising goal of just over $10.1 million. On Thursday, they announced that they not only met that goal, they surpassed it.

The United Way campaign raised $10,214,283. This is the first time in the organization’s history that they’ve raised this much money.

“If you look at how that number came to be, how we actually even had a goal of $10 million, it was all based on need. The needs that come out of this community, working with partner agencies, saying these are the programs we need to support our community in. That’s the number that we needed. That’s the number we got and we’re going to use it well,” 2015 Campaign Chair Paul Bruflat said.

This 2015 Campaign will support 88 partner programs through 44 agencies, providing a variety of services from child care for low income families to home delivered meals for seniors.

The money will also bring the Ready To Start program to five schools in the Sioux Empire.

“It was brought forth by research from the United Way staff, finding that there was some need here where certain children who didn’t have the ability to be in some sort of a pre-school, daycare situation. Often times they may not be ready to begin kindergarten,” Bruflat said.

Ready To Start is a five-week program that focuses on skills just prior to the first day of kindergarten.

“There’s a gap there between what some government resources, such as Head Start, and what’s left. This is really a program designed to fill some of those gaps and help these kids get off to a great start,” Bruflat said.

The program partners with Canton, Harrisburg, McCook Central, Sioux Falls and Tea Area School Districts.

By reaching this fundraising goal, the program will now help 150 kids.

700 local companies and more than 27,000 people participate in the United Way campaign each year. The Sioux Empire United Way serves 33 communities in Minnehaha, Lincoln, McCook and Turner Counties.