Mary Fuller says her job is to bring people in the community together to address their needs and provide them with important resources.
“Bryan County is a small county and we’re so unique in that we’re split into two different sides with different needs,” Fuller said. “You have to pay attention to both sides of the county and know what those needs are.”
United Way of the Coastal Empire recently hired Fuller as the organization’s Area Director in the Bryan County office. Fuller is responsible for the daily operations of the office, working with nonprofit partners, businesses, local government, and service organizations.
Fuller has spent the last 11 years in Bryan County, where she most recently led the awareness campaign regarding the dangers of opioids and other prescription drugs through the Bryan County Opioid Prevention Project. Throughout her career, Fuller has focused on providing support for children and families, including working as the Executive Director of Inspiritus (formerly known as Lutheran Services of Georgia).
"We are excited to have someone with Mary’s depth of nonprofit experience and commitment to helping others lead our work in connecting children, families, and individuals in Bryan County with the assistance needed to achieve their best lives,” said Deb Thompson, President and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire.
Fuller succeeds Kristi Cox, who vacated the position to seek a Richmond Hill City Council seat.
Just a few weeks on the job, Fuller’s time has been spent getting out among the residents, asking questions to gauge their biggest needs.
“Last week I went to the Bryan County Family Connection meeting to put out a survey … what are the top three needs, on both ends of the county?”
Bryan County’s annual United Way campaign raised more than $200,000 last year. “The money raised in the campaign makes all the difference in us being able to really support those programs,” Fuller said. “The people who have donated during our campaign have made a huge impact on our community.”
On donating to the organization, Fuller says “You know what you get with the United Way.” She said the group has a detailed order of giving out money, called “community investment process,” and those decisions are not made by United Way staff.
“We have community volunteers who look at the applications. There is a solid vetting process,” she said.
Prior to accepting this position, Fuller was part of that community investment process on a panel for two years. These panels, she said, consist of 15 to 20 people, with finance, business, and social services backgrounds who go through proposals, ask questions, and review financial statements.
“I welcome anybody who wants to talk to me about how money is used in the United Way and what the process looks like or what we focus on,” Fuller said. She can be reached at 912-459-4111.
A graduate of the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Fuller also holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
She and her husband, Darryl, live in Richmond Hill. She has two step-daughters: Ashley Anderson and Kristin Fuller.
To learn more about United Way of the Coastal Empire, visit www.uwce.org.