With the holidays quickly approaching and the year coming to an end, the United Way of West Ellis County is still looking to meet the $500,000 campaign goal that was set in late August by the organization.

Contributions for the 2008 campaign have been steadily received, but about another $188,000 is needed to round out the campaign goal.

"The desire to help those citizens in need is greater than ever as evidences by the increase in monetary requests from the agencies we serve," said Nicole Mansell, 2008 campaign chairman. "So far we have not been able to fill all of the monetary requests that the agencies have made due to our goal having not been reached as of yet. We are hoping that the community will make a big push to give through the end of January and that we can make our 2008 campaign goal."

What does United Way of West Ellis County do?

This past year, through the more than 25 United Way local agencies in western Ellis County, children had a safe place to learn and play, area seniors had hot meals and a place to gather, women living in abusive homes had a shelter to turn to and those whose lives have been harmed by drug and alcohol abuse were provided resources to end such self-abuse, Mansell said.

Some of the nonprofit organizations that are supported by the United Way of West Ellis County include Avalon Summer Recreation, Manna House, Meals on Wheels, the Gingerbread House children's advocacy center, Daniel's Den and the Waxahachie, Milford and Midlothian Senior Citizens Centers. Communities that are served by the West Ellis County United Way include Avalon, Milford, Maypearl, Midlothian, Red Oak, Waxahachie and a number of others.

How can you help United Way?

Individuals can make a one-time donation to the United Way and business and organizations can conduct work place campaigns and participate in their company's payroll deduction plan. Those businesses and organizations that are interested in conducting a workplace campaign are encouraged to contact the United Way office.

For more information on the United Way of West Ellis County or to make a donation, contact Richard Norman, executive director, at 972-723-9280.