United Way of Loudon County has extended the annual fundraising campaign for six weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With disruptions caused by shut downs, more time was needed to have a realistic chance of reaching the $100,000 goal in Tellico Village.

Most recent figures show about 78% of the goal, or $78,000, has been collected.

Donating to United Way is an efficient way of putting charitable dollars to work where needed. Board members meet with agency representatives and review each request to ensure the need is legitimate and targeted at those most in need of assistance in areas that include food, shelter, clothing, medical help and transportation. The agency's plan and ability for fulfillment is also scrutinized.

Most residents in Tellico Village have not experienced the economic and other impacts the pandemic has had on our neighbors in Loudon County. Many of them have lost jobs or seen serious reductions in income, thus amplifying the needs satisfied by United Way partner agencies.

There are several ways to donate. Use the pledge form included with the letter sent a few weeks ago, or write a check and mail a donation to United Way c/o Judy Gibbons at 216 Talah Lane. Save the cost of a stamp by going online at www.unitedwayloudoncounty.org/donate or calling 865-532-9131, ext. 572.

The need is still great in the community. United Way appreciates the help provided by Tellico Village residents.

Richard Kolasheski is a Tellico Village resident who serves on the United Way of Loudon County Board of Directors.