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Bryan County United Way needs spike in donations to meet this year's fundraising goal

POSTED: October 24, 2017 1:53 p.m.
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Bryan County United Way campaign chair Catherine Grant (seated behind desk) and area director Kristi Cox (right) discuss fundraising strategies.

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With about $80,000 pledged, and only three weeks left in the campaign, United Way organizers are counting on the generosity of area residents and businesses in Bryan County to step up and help them reach or top their 2017 fundraising goal of $175,000.

“We have had several challenges this year, but we know that we can make it,” said United Way Bryan County Director Kristi Cox, who, along with campaign chair Catherine Grant, are getting the word out that it’s not too late to donate.

“If we all work together, we can, not only make the goal of $175,000, but we can surpass it. Will you please consider making a pledge?”

The campaign launched in late September and lasts eight weeks. This year’s goal was $25,000 more than the previous year.

Cox and Grant say the actual donation can be paid at any time during 2018, so there is over a year to submit it. Much of the donations are coming in as employee payroll deductions by area businesses, starting in January.

Donations can be made directly to the United Way Bryan County Facebook page or by contacting their office at (912) 459-4111.

According to the group, examples of how donations help in Bryan County include:

* Backpacks of Love – food that is sent home with students over the weekend that may otherwise not be eaten.

* Funding the emergency food pantry at Eleos (First Baptist Church of Richmond Hill) that provides food to individuals or families who are trying to make it to the end of the month.

* Paying the electric bill for a senior who lives on a limited income and had unexpected car repairs.

* Helping a single mom who has a child with a medical condition get to doctor appointments by providing gasoline cards.

* Providing homeless individuals with hot meals.

* Acquiring mattresses for children that need a comfortable place to sleep.

“I’ve learned so much about the United Way,” Grant said, reflecting on her stint as campaign chair.

 “I love the integrity and accountability that comes with the United Way funding,” she added, referring to the Herschel V. Jenkins Foundation, which requires that every dollar donated locally goes directly to the programs designated. The foundation stipulates that all administrative costs are paid through that fund.

“The most pleasant surprise (of being campaign chair) is that I’m getting to focus on the ‘One by One’ (this year’s theme) and seeing first-hand the day to day impact of the United Way,” Grant said.

In a letter to the community, Grant wrote that this year’s theme “reminds us that we can improve lives, fight hunger, and facilitate justice – one life at a time.” She quoted Paul Shane Spear, who said, “As one person, I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.”

Grant, chief executive officer of ExperCare Urgent Care,  said that in 2016, the United Way supported 101 programs at 63 non-profit organizations across its four-county service area.

You can read Grant’s letter by clicking on the PDF link on the upper left of this page -- the second of three images in the box.

See United Way kickoff story and video.

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