FARGO, N.D. -

United Way of Cass–Clay wants to raise $5.7 million this year.

They were joined by over 830 people in their annual kick off at the Holiday Inn in Fargo.

United Way says the money raised will go directly to fight hunger and homelessness in the area, and help children.

Marketing Director Kristina Hein says one in eight people in Cass and Clay counties are living in poverty.

"The goal is to raise and invest $5.7 million, focusing on hunger, homelessness, poverty, helping people be independent, and most importantly investing in children, because we know that is the biggest return on investment for our community," United Way marketing director Kristina Hein says.

They were also joined by guest speaker Adam Martin, a business developer who was once homeless in the area.