The United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Bryan County fundraising campaign wrapped up on a happy note this week. The two-month effort brought in more than $177,500, solidly surpassing the group’s original goal of $150,000.
Kristi Cox, Director of the United Way’s Bryan County Office, said donations still are trickling in, but at this time, the Bryan County School System stands as the annual initiative’s leading donor. Publix came in second; Kroger took third; and Pembroke Telephone rounded out the top four.
United Way’s 2016 campaign, themed “Be The One” sent a powerful message to donors that contributions to the United Way ensure that every child has potential to succeed, adults can provide for their families, and everyone can lead a healthy life. According to organizers, the United Way’s Bryan County office impacts the community with far-reaching work that creates lasting, positive change and addresses critical issues. Priority funding goes to successful programs in the impact areas of education and youth development, health and wellness, and economic independence with a focus on family financial stability.
“This is just amazing," Cox said. "It means we can help more people. We’re very proud of the members of this community – it’s wonderful to live in a place where the residents are motivated to take care of each other and work together to build stronger relationships, families and bonds. Everyone clearly wants to help in whatever way they can.”
This year’s campaign goal, which represented a 45 percent increase over last year’s goal, was announced at a Sept. 13 luncheon at the Richmond Hill City Center, where Byron Atkinson, the 2016 Bryan County UW campaign chairman, served as keynote speaker.
“We exceeded our 2016 goal by 17 percent – the most of any county! It was nearly double the amount we raised last year, and that’s despite the hardships and challenges posed by Hurricane Matthew,” Atkinson said. “We couldn’t have done it without Bryan County’s generous citizens and the continued support of our top donors. A big thank-you to the Bryan County Board of Education, Publix, Kroger and Pembroke Telephone.”