The United Way of Delaware County and its supporters recently continued a prosperous trend that's seen annual records for donations and community reinvestment.

The United Way of Delaware County and its supporters recently continued a prosperous trend that's seen annual records for donations and community reinvestment.

After recently concluding fiscal year 2008, the local United Way chapter last week announced it would distribute more than $2.34-million to assist local service agencies and organizations.

The community reinvestments were made possible through financial gifts from the community, which topped fiscal year 2007's $2.18-million in donations to United Way of Delaware County.

"Each year, we've been fortunate here in that we've raised more than the year before," said Kathy Kreuchauf, president of United Way of Delaware County. "This year, we received more than we have ever before."

Kreuchauf said the donations came to United Way through its "Workplace Campaign." The annual campaign solicits pledges of payroll deductions from Delaware County employers and their employees.

"Those people made pledges last year that they're fulfilling through their payroll deductions," Kreuchauf said. "The vast majority of the money we allocate comes from people who live and work in Delaware County."

After receiving the pledges, a volunteer panel will evaluate proposals from local organizations and service agencies to determine how the money should be reinvested. The panel seeks to select recipients which aim to create "positive, sustained changes in people's lives," Kreuchauf said. The selection process includes site visits by panel members, as well as reviews of the organizations' and agencies' program results.

In all, 22 Delaware County organizations and agencies were selected to receive United Way funds.

They include the Liberty Community Center, which will receive $291,500 for early childhood day care, and the Delaware County American Red Cross, which was granted $255,169 for disaster and health and safety services, water training, armed services emergency assistance, and blood and community services.

Additionally, recipients included People In Need, which was given $238,760 for emergency assistance programming, its food pantry and to support its Holiday Clearing House. The Delaware Speech and Hearing Center received $220,356 for its speech, language pathology and audiology services, and HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties was granted $173,682 for information and referral services, as well as its violence-prevention program.

Kreuchauf said the record reinvestment will extend the agencies' and organizations' assistance capabilities, and she credited Delaware County residents and businesses for helping to improve the local quality of life.

"I think, No. 1, we have been very fortunate in Delaware County that a lot of the economic downturn that's affected much of Ohio has not affected Delaware County in terms of people's ability to give," she said. "We also have very positive relationships with all of the big employers in the county.

"The overall climate has been very positive, and we have some great volunteers working year-round, taking the United Way message out to the community."

nellis@thisweeknews.com