New Orleans United Way announces potential shortfall, March fundraisingMar 15th, 2010 | By Frank McCormack | Category: Community
United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area, instrumental in delivering support for St. Bernard Parish organizations like St. Bernard Project and the Community Center of St. Bernard, is facing its first fundraising shortfall in a decade.
Gary Ostroske, president of New Orleans’ United Way, announced at a press conference March 2 that his organization is facing a $500,000 shortfall for this year’s $23 million fundraising campaign.
But Ostroske said United Way is meeting the challenge head on with its “March to the Finish” campaign which focuses on closing the funding gap this month.
Likewise, though United Way’s fundraising campaign is half a million dollars short, organization leaders hope to finish strong in March.
“We’re going to bring this to a successful finish,” Ostroske said.
Zack Rosenburg, co-founder of St. Bernard Project in St. Bernard Parish, gave witness to how powerful initial funding from United Way can be. Rosenburg told of how he and co-founder Liz McCartney marched into a meeting with Ostroske in 2006 to explain how he, an attorney, and McCartney, a teacher, planned to rebuild homes in St. Bernard Parish.
To their surprise, Ostroske agreed to provide sheetrock to help jump start the fledgling organization. Four years later, St. Bernard Project has helped rebuild 267 homes and its partnership with United Way continues. It wouldn’t have happened without seed money from United Way, Rosenburg said, and now is the time for people in the New Orleans area to give back to United Way.
“Now is the time for New Orleans to dig in and dig deep and support New Orleans,” he said.
Community Center of St. Bernard provides a variety of services to residents in St. Bernard. Iray Nabatoff, Community Center of St. Bernard’s executive director, said his agency’s food pantry depends in part on support from United Way.
“We’re grateful for the support we get,” Nabatoff said. “And as a community grassroots organization, we have a dire need for funding.”
Community Center of St. Bernard has served the parish since 2006.
Potential donors can go online to www.unitedwaynola.org or call (504) 827-6814 to give.
And United Way is offering an incentive for giving: For every $50 given, donors earn a chance to win a George Rodrigue silk screen print of Saints quarterback Drew Brees and the iconic Blue Dog, which will be signed by both Rodrigue and Brees. None of the prints is available commercially.
Deadline for giving is March 31.