With 1993 coming to a close, the United Way of Utah County has raised $629,621 during its current campaign.

The campaign, which is seeking more than $1 million in pledges, will be completed by the first week in March. Some local companies have yet to begin their campaigns, and others have not yet reported how much they raised, said Jared Knight, development director."Right now the Alpine School District is just finishing up (its campaign), and we have Utah County, Systems Connections, Wing Enterprises, Granite Furniture and others starting in January.

"Several campaigns have been completed over the past month, and their results are still coming in," Knight said. Last year the campaign brought in just over $1 million. Knight is projecting this year's campaign will exceed last year's record.

Utah County needs the extra money. Information from a needs-assessment study showed a much greater community need this year than in past years.

Funds collected from yearly campaigns help support more than 20 local human-service agencies that help people in need.

Erland Peterson, volunteer chairman of United Way of Utah County board of directors, said, "The most critical needs are job-related issues, housing, health-care and dysfunctional family issues."

Local volunteers determine how much funding each of the United Way-sponsored agencies will receive based on their responsiveness in meeting the most critical community needs.

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"With the changing needs in our community, the need to give to United Way increases," said Bill Hulterstrom, president of United Way of Utah County. "United Way has the ability to put the money where it's needed the most in our community."

Local agencies supported by United Way of Utah County prepared a list of what various contribution levels can accomplish. For instance, $1 a week for one year provides 50 meals per week for 50 senior citizens for one month; $5 per week for one year provides eyeglasses for three adults.

Those able to pay $10, $15 or $20 a week in donations for one year will provide emergency shelter for 40 homeless families; food and clothing for a family of four who are victims of a house fire; individual help for six months for 10 elementary children who have reading problems; emergency and financial help to prevent four families with children from becoming homeless; 20 days of respite care; or individual one-on-one reading assistance to 20 elementary children for seven months.

For more information about making a charitable contribution to United Way of Utah County, call 374-2588 or send donations to United Way of Utah County, P.O. Box 135, Provo, UT 84603.

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