Texarkana nonprofits face fundraising struggles due to COVID-19

United Way of Greater Texarkana
United Way of Greater Texarkana(United Way of Greater Texarkana Facebook page)
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 2:57 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) - The novel coronavirus has brought adverse effects on nonprofit organizations’ fundraising efforts. In Texarkana, one organization supporting over 30 agencies is trying to keep up with the financial shortfall.

Missy Davidson is the program director for the Texarkana Children Advocacy Center, a nonprofit which gives support to investigators of child abuse and its victims. One of its major backers is the United Way of Greater Texarkana.

“These funds helps us to provide the forensic interviews and the therapy session for our kids free of charge,” Davidson said. “It also helps with matching funds for our federal grants that we have to have matching funds for.”

The Children’s Advocacy Center is one of 35 programs funded by the United Way of Greater Texarkana.

“As for what we were able to allocate back out, it was a rough year,” said United Way of Greater Texarkana President Mark Bledsoe.

In 2020, the United Way fell short of their $900,000 goal because of the cancellation of major fundraising events due to COVID-19. However, they were able to fully fund their programs.

“We were able to give out over a half million dollars and pull out of reserves in anticipation. This year will be a better campaign because we will be able to have all our fundraisers again,” said Bledsoe.

The United Way provides financial support to agencies in 9 Arkansas and Texas counties. Bledsoe said these agencies, like the Children Advocacy Center, are vital to the community.

“Our programs, they didn’t stop because of COVID, and the needs didn’t stop simply because of COVID. So we had to step up to the plate and keep those programs in existence because they are vital,” said Bledsoe.

The next campaign is slated to begin Sept. 24 of this year, and Bledsoe said they are hoping to make up the shortfall in financial donations.

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