United Way kicks off fall campaign


The United Way of Hastings has kicked off its 2024 annual fall campaign. The organization, in its 60th year, is hoping for continued community support in an effort to raise an additional $60,000 for its vital community programs, said Director Theresa Chatelle.
Here’s some of what the United Way of Hastings does annually:
•It currently funds $57,000 to two Communities in School positions. Communities in Schools positions were directly inside Hastings schools, building relationships that empower students to succeed inside and outside the classroom.
“This next year, the school has had to make budget cuts and for this position to stay in the schools, United Way of Hastings will need to fundraise another $20,000 to support these positions,” said Chatelle.
•The Food4Kids Program delivers an average of 200 meal bags per week to school buildings in ISD #200. Each school building support staff provides Food4Kids meal bags to specific students confidentially. Support staff works directly with families to identify the root cause of hunger at home and may provide other needed resources to help ensure students come to school nourished so they can be successful at school. The program currently costs the United Way of Hastings $25,000 per year to operate.
“We would like to be able to continue this vital program for kids, who would otherwise go hungry on the weekends. Teachers have said this program has made a tremendous difference for these kids,” said Chatelle.
•The Helping Kids Succeed Community-Wide Initiative supports positive, healthy development for children, teens and young adults in Hastings to make sure they have a strong web of support.
“We are looking to revamp the Helping Kids Succeed program and we will need more resources to do so,” said Chatelle.
•The United Way of Hastings provides grants to nonprofits and would like to help more.
“This year we had $66,000 in grants ask from various nonprofits in the Hastings community, and unfortunately, we were only able to fund $32,500. We would really love to be able to fund all these great organizations,” Chatelle said.
The organization would also like to support the DARTS senior transportation program. Since 1974, DARTS has been a community-based nonprofit serving older adults. United Way sponsorship of the program would cost $10,000.
To help the United Way of Hastings, a pledge form is included with this article.