United Way Of The Brazos Valley Bouncing Back After 2012 Mistakes

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The United Way of the Brazos Valley is bouncing back saying they are financially sound now.

Last year the agency, that raises money for charitable organizations, went $240,000 in debt after mistakes were made managing money.

News 3 took a look at how the local United Way is working to earn the public's trust once again.

The United Way of the Brazos Valley says they've had a successful audit for 2012 and are making changes to make sure its money is used in the best way possible.

Just last year they were giving away more money than they actually had.

Kids are having fun and have a place to play at the North Bryan Community Center.

It's summer camp time now but kids are here throughout the year.

It's one of the dozens of charities the United Way of the Brazos Valley offers assistance to.

Shirley Chambers is the Community Center's Director.

"We have been struggling but we're all right, we're ok," she said.

Chambers says they used to get around $1,000 a month from the agency but it's now a little less than half that.

But every little bit helps them help these kids.

"In July we will be doing field trips at the Brazos Valley Museum. We'll also be going to Grand Station and wherever we can find that we can take them, that's not too expensive," she added.

"It's a new day with United Way and there is a really bright future ahead of this organization," said Andy Martin, the new President and CEO of the United Way of the Brazos Valley.

Martin just started here in February.

He's moving forward from last year when the organization was $240,000 in debt.

"Nothing unethical happened, nothing illegal happened. It was just a mistake and we made a mistake. And we've taken responsibility for the fact that we over projecting the amount of pledges that we were expecting and then we weren't collecting the pledges that we had received," Martin added.

Some of the other changes they say they've made to fix the previous problems include a more detailed budget planning process, tracking and watching money month to month and a new code of ethics.

They are under budget and are currently contributing more than $400,000 in community impact funds.

But resources stay limited.

"We just would ask people to get involved in your community," Martin said.

Some well known other non-profits likes the Brazos Valley Food Bank dropped their affiliation in recent years so they could fundraise without restrictions, while Voices for Children still has a partial affiliation.

The United Way of the Brazos Valley serves more than 250,000 people in the seven county area.

Next week it will announce its grant awards for the next two years and release more on how funds were given out this past year.