The United Community Fund of Neosho kicked off their annual donation campaign with a breakfast event on Friday. On behalf of K & S Wire, company president Gene Schwartz presented the group with a check.

Board member Diana Messens provided a brief history of the organization, which was founded in 1957 and has been operating for 61 years. "We've been giving quarterly allotments for those years. We serve 16 agencies with the United Fund.  I would like to share a few facts from last year."

Messens noted that the largest allocation goes to Children's Mercy Hospital, one of the original agencies on the list since 1957.  Last year, the United Community Fund helped 682 children in the area, providing pediatric care regardless of the family's ability to pay.

The Red Cross is another of the agencies receiving funds. They assisted 203 families at a cost of $87,550. The Restoration Life Center also received funding. Messens noted it is the only homeless and emergency shelter between Joplin, Missouri and Rogers, Arkansas and from Springfield, Missouri to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Last year, the shelter housed 220 people.

The campaign slogan this year is “Giving Local Makes a Difference.”  The current goal is to raise $90,000. The event was held at K & S Wire, Neosho.

Cash and pledge donations may be accepted at the United Fund office, 212 S. Washington Street in Neosho. Office hour are 8-10:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Donations or pledge cards may also be mailed. For more information, call 417-451-2125.