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United Way meets goal, finally

United Way of Centralina celebrates reaching fund drive goal with this sign.

After a rough year and a half that saw donations drop off, Charlotte's United Way has some good news for a change. The charity-funding agency announced today it made its nearly $23 million goal for this year. WFAE's Simone Orendain has more. United Way of Central Carolinas says it reached its $22.7 million goal Sunday. This means it will receive a $1 million dollar match that the Leon Levine Foundation said it would kick-in for reaching the goal. The campaign should have been over at the end of last year. But United Way CEO Jane McIntyre extended the date to whenever it would reach the goal. McIntyre says the Levine challenge grant helped in many ways. "It gave some credibility to United Way. It also gave motivation and desire to only focus on the Community Care Fund," she says. McIntyre says this year, money was raised specifically for human services needs in the region only- not for any agencies beyond the Charlotte area. Last year's campaign ended more than $14 million short of the goal, as the agency was hit with a one-two punch of the recession and public outcry over the controversial compensation package of a former CEO. Funding to the 90-plus agencies United Way supports was cut by 30 to 40 percent. McIntyre says with the money raised, agencies could receive an increase in funding at best or flat funding at worst.