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The Suburbanite
  • Day of Caring helps to kick off United Way's 2011 campaign

  • “The need in Stark County is great,” said Kevin Kampman, publisher of The Repository and CantonRep.com and chairman of this year’s campaign.  “It’s an honor to be asked to chair the campaign. It’s a big responsibility, but I know we can reach our goal.”

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  • The United Way of Greater Stark County kicked off its 2011 fundraising campaign Thursday morning at the North Canton Church of Christ, establishing a goal of $7 million, slightly more than it raised last year.
    “The need in Stark County is great,” said Kevin Kampman, publisher of The Repository and CantonRep.com and chairman of this year’s campaign.  “It’s an honor to be asked to chair the campaign. It’s a big responsibility, but I know we can reach our goal.”
    Since 1922, the United Way has been helping people in Stark County. More people, from all walks of life, need help. Nearly 25 percent of Stark County’s people younger than 18 are living in poverty.
    In June, the county’s unemployment rate was 10 percent. About one in every six residents receives government food assistance, and more than 40 percent of Stark students receive a free or reduced-price lunch at school.
    United Way’s 2-1-1 Information & Referral callers increased nearly 35 percent in 2010. Last year, calls about homeless services increased 300 percent.
    “I see the need in the community every day at Catholic Charities,” said Deborah Kampman, campaign co-chairwoman, noting the agency fields more phone calls from people who need help.
    Thursday also marked the United Way’s 18th annual Day of Caring.
    More than 1,000 volunteers from 53 companies helped 56 funded providers and community nonprofits complete 96 different projects, including painting and cleaning at the Alliance Area Domestic Shelter, washing and cleaning American Red Cross vans, landscaping and planting at Catholic Charities Adult Day Care and working with children at the Interfaith Child Development Center.
    Among the companies whose employees participated were Huntington Bank, the primary sponsor, The Repository, Arts in Stark, Nationwide Insurance and Aultman Hospital.