From AP - News Headlines -

Tree of Hope Campaign On Track to Reach Goal

A Champaign-based agency that provides care for the developmentally disabled in Champaign, Piatt, Ford and Iroquois Counties set its goals high late this year.

The Developmental Services Center set its Tree of Hope campaign goal for 2009 at 100-thousand dollars. It's the group's largest fundraiser of the year. Last year, the goal was set at 75-thousand dollars, and the community contributed 85-thousand.

DSC Development specialist Nikki Kopman admits raising the goal to 100-thousand dollars was a challenge, given the sluggish economy.

But she says the 83-thousand dollars they've received in donations go far --- with about a month left in the campaign --- makes her confident the agency will reach its goal.

"There was definitely thought on both sides of the fence of 'wow that's really high', but 'we really need it'", says Kopman. "The economy's really bad, but this community really rallies around social services and the needs of the community. We see that personally here at DSC. But any time you turn on the news or pick up a newspaper for this area, our community is very good about lifting everyone else

Kopman says costs for the Tree of Hope fundraiser are kept at a minimum. Local sponsors underwrite brochures sent in the mail, billboards, and the lights for the Tree of Hope itself, a live tree located at the corner of North Prospect and Marketview in Champaign, so that almost all of the money donated can go directly to helping people with developmental disabilities.

Each donation between November 1st of this year and January 30th helps the Tree of Lights campaign. Donations can be made online through the Developmental Services Center website, at www.dsc-illinois.org.

Categories: Health