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Local philanthropist donates historic gift for housing needs
Bob Mock
Bob Mock, left, presents $1 million check to United Way.

On the steps of the stately Richmond Hill History Museum, the United Way of the Coastal Empire shared the good news of a great gift to the local community.

United Way leaders on Thursday reported a record-breaking donation of $1 million from leading Bryan County philanthropist Bob Mock.

This contribution, which will go towards assisting Bryan County residents with housing needs, is the single largest individual gift in the organization’s 85-year history.

“We are incredibly grateful for Mr. Mock’s generous donation,” said Brianne Yontz, United Way of the Coastal Empire – Bryan County Area Director. “Our mission is to improve lives through the caring power of our community, and Mr. Mock is the perfect representation of that.”

This historic donation will be used to help Bryan County residents struggling with housing needs by providing rental and mortgage assistance, partial down payments, emergency shelter, and more.

A special committee has been formed to work with Mr. Mock in establishing eligibility, guidelines, and focus areas for funding allocations.

Rooted in charity

86-year-old Bob Mock is no stranger to helping those in need.

Mr. Mock, a Florida native and a Citadel graduate, has spent his twilight years donating millions in gift donations to his alma mater as well his church (St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal) and various animal welfare organizations.

However, he is very modest about his financial contributions, often saying that he “isn’t looking for praise.”

“We come into this life, if we’re lucky we make a good living, and then we die and we’re gone, and it seems to me it’s more rewarding when you die if you don’t have anything left,” he said, during an early 2020 interview with former Bryan County News editor Jeff Whitten. “You start out with nothing, you build a lot, but when you leave it’s all gone. So you should give it away.”

Brianne Yontz first met Mock during a Toastmasters meeting, long before the two crossed paths with United Way.

“When I was the Executive Director with the Bryan County Chamber, my previous role, I was involved with the local Toastmasters chapter,” Yontz said.

“That was the first time I ever met him–it would be years and years until we met up again in regards to United Way!”

Many hands make light work Yontz believes that every gift to the United Way is important–no matter how big or small.

“One of the things that I find very meaningful about this organization is that just about every dollar that a person gives goes directly into funding for the agencies or direct services,” Yontz said. “So very little of it, if any, goes to administrative or fundraising costs.”

“That way, people like Bob Mock know that their money is going to good use.”

The United Way – Bryan County Service Centers in both the north and south of the county will begin accepting applications from Bryan County residents on Monday, January 8, 2024.

“While there is unprecedented economic development, business investment, and job creation in our region, there continues to be challenges in areas like housing, as well as childcare, literacy, and workforce training,” said Brynn Grant, President and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire. “United Way is working hard to address these issues, and Mr. Mock’s generous gift will make a significant difference in the lives of people in Bryan County. We hope his generosity will inspire others to get involved with our important work.”

United Way of the Coastal Empire Community Fund Those interested in making a donation to the United Way Community Fund can make a gift online at United Way’s website at www. Donations can also be made by mailing a check to United Way of the Coastal Empire at 428 Bull Street, Savannah, GA 31401.

ABOUT UNITED WAY OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE United Way is a volunteer- driven organization serving Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties that involves hundreds of community leaders, professionals, and other volunteers in every aspect of our business, including fundraising, marketing, and funding decisions, to ensure that donations are truly making a difference. Thanks to the Herschel V. Jenkins Trust Fund and other income, most of the operating expenses of the organization are covered, allowing more donor contributions to go where they’re most needed in service to the community. For more information, please visit www.uwce. org.

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