Heart of Missouri United Way finds itself $1 million short of 2013 goal

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Charity organizations in mid Missouri are struggling to meet their goals.

The Heart of Missouri United Way's campaign has ended and finds itself $1 million dollars short of its 2013 goal.

Now decisions are going to have to be made as to how to distribute their funds or lack thereof.

"Our goal for fundraising and campaigning these last two years has not been set by how much we think we can raise, it's based on what the agencies have requested and what the community needs," said Tim Rich, executive director of the Heart of Missouri United Way.

United Way discovered the mid Missouri community needed $4 million dollars, but they received a little over $3 million.

"Just like in any business when revenue falls we have to make adjustments. We've started with our own budget," said Rich.

Rich told ABC 17 News that he made a 9.5% cut from its internal operations budget, and let two staff members go.

The United Way campaign may be closed but its still waiting for its final numbers, which will come at the end of February. Until then no decisions regarding funding to agencies will be made.

More than 30 programs here in mid Missouri rely on United Way's funding source.

The Columbia Housing Authority's program "Powered by Moms," is one of them.

"Right now we are cautiously optimistic that we might be able to absorb some of our cuts," said Phil Steinhaus, CEO of the Columbia Housing Authority.

Steinhaus told ABC 17 News that if the cuts are substantial they might not be able to keep their program running.

"It appears that things have happened to the community that has reduced giving so we feel that as well," said Rich.

The Salvation Army still needs $2,000 to meet its goal.

"We're really hoping someone from the community will step up and be our Santa Claus and help us out," said Cyndy Chapman with the Salvation Army.

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