St. Clair County’s United Way campaign volunteers had good news about the 2013 fundraising drive—they went over the top.

Campaign chairman Don Smith, who is the Executive Director of the St. Clair County Economic Development Council, reported $287,340 in donations and pledges. That’s almost $20,000 over this year’s goal and $34,000 over last year’s goal. And that’s two years in a row the county has topped a quarter of a million dollars in giving that will go a long way toward helping people in a lot of ways.

United Way typically gets about two thirds of its donations through payroll deductions, with a suggestion of an hour’s wage per month as everyone’s fair share. Other donations make up the other third.

St. Clair County is one of five counties that work with United Way of Central Alabama, one of the top 20 United Way organizations in the country in total revenue. There are 13 organizations located in, or providing programs in the county that will benefit from this year’s drive. About 30 other organizations under the UWCA umbrella also serve St. Clair County residents in a typical year—with more than 42,000 residents getting help in 2011 according to information from UWCA. St. Clair organizers say the county gets double or triple the value of the money raised locally.

Here’s a rundown of the organizations, listed in order of their funding, largest first.

American Red Cross works in a number of ways to meet needs in emergency situations, and after the 2011 tornadoes initiated the formation of a VOAD group—Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster—to help with training and preparation for the future.

YWCA of Central Alabama is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all, with programs assisting with clothing, shelter, child care, social justice and situations involving domestic abuse.

The St. Clair County Day Program is an innovative, comprehensive youth services center designed to help troubled adolescents and their families. The program is structured to be individualized to meet the unique needs of each youth in his/her specific situation.

The Arc of St. Clair County works to provide meaningful services and activities to mentally challenged preschoolers and adults.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama offers after school programs for young people to enhance personal growth, learning, skills development and fun.

The St. Clair County Department of Human Resources is the state’s primary social services agency.

The Christian Love Pantry helps many families with grocery needs.

The St. Clair Children’s Advocacy Center staff coordinates services for children and families involved in a child abuse case.

United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham provides quality programs designed to promote self-reliance, present choices, and improve the quality of life for children and adults with cerebral palsy, as well as other disabilities.

The Literacy Council trains volunteer tutors to help others improve their reading and literacy skills.

The Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama offer a variety of activities to help build courage, confidence and character.

The Boy Scouts Greater Alabama Council strives to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations.

And the Pell City Needy School Children’s Fund is available to help meet needs of students in a variety of circumstances.

The response to this year’s fundraising drive demonstrates support for United Way’s basic purpose - to increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another and to improve their community. The volunteers and donors will make a difference in the lives of thousands in the months ahead.