With the rapidly approaching holiday season, Rotary Club of Richmond Hill members learned Thursday about various ways to help those in need when Kristi Cox, the United Way of Bryan County’s newest director, spoke at the group’s weekly meeting.
Cox took some time to talk about the existing and new programs offered through the county’s United Way office, which is a branch of the United Way of the Coastal Empire.
“We have added two new services (in Bryan County), one of which is transportation assistance — we can provide gas cards if women and children need help getting back and forth to the doctor or to work,” Cox said. “We also have added back the utility assistance.”
She said utility assistance was once offered before in the county, but not in recent years.
“My understanding is we do have some funds leftover from last year’s campaign, which is why we were able to bring back the utility assistance,” Cox said, noting when she began several months ago, requests for utility assistance were what she heard most.
“The face of poverty has changed,” Cox added. “People who normally never had to call for services or never needed services are coming to our door.”
Cox also told the group the local United Way is looking to revamp some of its current programs once a new board of directors for the organization is in place. She used the Shepherd’s Supper, a meals on wheels-type program, as an example.
“The Shepherd’s Supper has a rule that I just don’t quite understand — you have to live by yourself to receive a meal,” Cox said. “We’re going to tweak some of that. We want to add some meals to that and expand that entire program. You may have a senior citizen husband and wife living together, and they should both be able to receive it.”
The organization’s way to raise money for its programs is through the annual United Way campaign, she said. This year, the local branch has raised much of its $64,000 goal.
“We are at 70 percent of our goal and we are in the midst of our fundraising campaign —we have two weeks left,” Cox said. “It is very important for us to raise the money because of course if we don’t raise it, then of course we can’t provide the services.”
Read more in the Nov. 3 edition of the News.