HUNTSVILLE, Ala (WHNT) – The United Way of Madison County is preparing to kick off its 79th United Way Campaign this week. The nonprofit partners with 27 other organizations in the community with 35 programs.

“They’re services that anyone could possibly need. Whether it’s senior-related, or children-related, or transitional housing, domestic violence, these are all programs,” said Claudia Bucher, United Way Director of Development.

There are many ways to donate to the nonprofit. People can go online and donate on the United Way of Madison County website. People can also donate through their employers.

“We’re here. We want to get in front of your employees. We want to get in front and let them know what our services are available to them. We’d love for them to go through payroll deduction. You can give cash. And you can volunteer. We need volunteers in this community,” Bucher said.

The United Way of Madison County not only partners to provide funding to other organizations, but also provides direct support to the community.

One of those services is the 211 support line. It’s a resource for people in need of food, clothing, shelter and rent assistance. From 2019 to 2021, the volume of calls coming in to the 211 support line quadrupled from 6,000 calls to 25,000. Bucher says pandemic-related problems and a growing population have led to the rising number of calls.

“211 is the magic number to call for any social service need, food, shelter, clothing, rent assistance, utility assistance. We always say people don’t know what they don’t know. And the number one thing that you have to know is to call 211 because there are always answers. There are always solutions and there are always people there to help,” Bucher said.

The United Way also provides a free tax service to qualifying residents, helping an average of 3,000 area residents a year. According to the United Way, collectively those residents receive $2.7 million in refunds.

With inflation, many residents take price breaks wherever they can. The United Way has a prescription discount program called SingleCare. 

“If you have a prescription, just go online to Singlecare.com. It will ask you what your milligram is, “Bucher explained. “What’s going to happen is your prescription name and it will come up with an entire list of all of those pharmacies here in Huntsville, Madison County, that has that particular prescription and you will be surprised that prescription will vary from $4.25 to $32.”

The program has saved people more than $2.7 million since 2007.

If someone finds themself in need of transportation, the United Way can help through a program called Ride United. The nonprofit provides rides to qualifying work and medical appointments. The program started in 2020 and provided a total of 1,500 rides. Since that time, more than 13,000 rides have been provided.

More information about how to get involved in the 79th United Way Campaign can be found here. Claudia Bucher is available to answer questions as well. She can be reached at (256) 518-8210.