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Burnsed honored at United Way annual meeting
Jimmy Burnsed
Jimmy Burnsed, right, and United Way Bryan County Director Kristi Cox after Burnsed was honored by United Way of the Coastal Empire with the Spirit of Community Award for Advocacy. - photo by Photo provided.

Jimmy Burnsed was honored at the United Way of the Coastal Empire annual meeting recently with the Spirit of Community Award for Advocacy.

The former South State Bank senior vice president served 12 years as chairman of the Bryan County Board of Commissioners. His involvement with United Way goes back five decades, to when the organization was known as “Community Chest.”

Gregg Schroeder, president of UWCE, called Burnsed one of the “strongest advocates” the organization has ever had.

“I found a Proverb that got me going, it says, ‘He who closes his ears to the cry of the poor will one day himself cry and not be heard,’” Burnsed said on accepting the award. “If the good Lord said that, he meant it and we should observe it.”

Kristi Cox, director of United Way’s Bryan County office, called Burnsed an “icon” who has always offered her encouragement, support and guidance.

“Mr. Jimmy identified his personal ‘why’ of serving and helping others early on in life,” she said. “In doing so, he became a financial supporter, a volunteer in numerous capacities and a phenomenal advocate for many decades.”

United Way said that during his time as county chairman, “Burnsed heard the voices of the Bryan County people and became their voice to the greater area to address ongoing problems. His unwavering loyalty to the United Way and his community presence is because he believes in the power of good work.”

“He understands the value that each dollar provides to a single mom or a family that is struggling and needing a hand up,” Cox added. “I would like to thank him for his dedication and commitment to United Way’s mission of improving lives and for serving with UWCE for almost 50 years with humility, compassion and integrity.”

The recent UWCE campaign raised $8.4 million in support of 92 programs ran by 60 nonprofit organizations.

Plenty of people had more nice things to say about Burnsed in January 2017 when he stepped down from the Board of Commissioners. You can read more about that at

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