United Way extends hand to help Josephine County

The collapse of Josephine County's United Way chapter will be eased with assistance from Jackson County's organization.

United Way of Jackson County has agreed to receive funds and make payments for the defunct chapter, said Executive Director Dee Anne Everson. United Way of Josephine County announced its dissolution Friday after weathering ongoing turmoil, she said.

"They have struggled for years," Everson said, adding that rapid turnover among staff and board members was a contributing problem.

Board members for United Way of Josephine County could not immediately be reached for comment.

Board members of Jackson County's United Way have no plans for expansion into their neighboring county, Everson said. However, a study of Josephine County's community and needs would precede any potential move, which would require legal assistance, she added.

"We are not merging, and we are not moving in there tomorrow," she said.

United Way of Josephine County historically has raised about $130,000 annually, Everson said. By contrast, Jackson County's chapter took in more than $1 million in charitable contributions during last year's major fundraising campaign. Josephine County's chapter also has failed to attract volunteers, Everson said.

About 10 times larger than Josephine County's organization, United Way of Jackson County helps fund 47 programs in 34 nonprofit or tax-exempt agencies. Efforts affect one in three local residents, Everson said.

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