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Local News in Brief : United Way Drive Ahead of Last Year

United Way of Los Angeles has raised $56,826,500, or 64% of its $89-million fund-raising goal, the organization announced Monday.

Donations to the umbrella charity are running 10.6% ahead of last year when $83.5 million was raised. “It’s good news and bad news,” spokeswoman Cindy Jett said. “We feel good because we are running ahead of last year. But we had hoped we would be 3% higher at this point. There is a sense of urgency because the last money is hardest to bring in.”

United Way raises money for about 335 social service agencies and 11 health partners locally.

Corporate giving is up 5% over last year, and employee giving among the top 100 companies is up 8%, Jett said. Among employee groups to chalk up big increases this year have been those at Bank of America, raising $734,781, an 8.6% increase over last year; UPS, $657,373, for a 22.3% increase, and Carter Hawley Hale, $97,972, for a 15.6% increase.

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Although United Way has almost doubled its volunteer staff to 1,700, the campaign period has been shortened by more than a month over the past two years, Jett said.


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