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United Way campaign begins in Unicoi County

By Richard Rourk

The United Way of Unicoi County has kicked off its 2020 campaign, but like so many events this year, the kickoff was done virtually.

“Our virtual campaign kickoff was this Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 8:30 a.m.,” United Way of Unicoi County spokesperson Lynnsey Seagroves said. “We held a livestream on both our Facebook and YouTube pages. The video was the same on both platforms and appeared simultaneously.”

According to Unicoi County High School Student Body President and United Way of Unicoi County spokesperson Trent White, 97 percent of money donated to the campaign goes right back into the county.

“Ninety-seven cents of every dollar goes right back into the community,” White said. “This is a vital organization that makes Unicoi County what it is today. The donations you make go to helping more than 20 organizations in Unicoi County.”

United Way of Unicoi County recently joined forces with Erwin Utilities and other members of the community to help Unicoi County during the pandemic.

“This summer United Way of Unicoi County, Erwin Utilities and the community raised more than $30,000 for the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund,” White said.

According to 2021 United Way of Unicoi County Chairman Lee Brown, this year’s kickoff was unique.

“We find ourselves in a much different arrangement this year for our campaign kickoff,” Brown said. “There is no guide to a virtual kickoff, but we are going to get started with our first and maybe our last ever United Way of Unicoi County virtual kickoff. I have been involved with United Way for more than 20 years and I am thankful for all of those that have given. Now more than ever we need your help. Our campaign goal for 2021 is still $120,000.”

Brown was impressed with how the first ever virtual kickoff for United Way of Unicoi County was handled.

“I just want to thank Tyler and Logan Engle who produced the video production and all of the participants who graciously shared their time and participated in filming,” Brown said. “We’ve never been in a position to have to do this type of thing before and we may never be again, but I think we should all be proud of our work to keep the campaign moving forward despite COVID-19. As you heard in the kickoff video this year, in the midst of pandemic, it’s more vital than ever for us to do everything in our power to support these agencies and the important work they do on behalf of Unicoi countians.”

You can view the United Way of Unicoi County virtual kickoff video on the organization’s Facebook or YouTube pages.

This year the United Way of Unicoi County added an online giving PayPal link URL: https://bit.ly/30rv160. This new way of giving is featured in the campaign kickoff video and is available as a link on the Facebook page as well.

Please be certain to share this with others as they plan their gift to this year’s campaign. Of course, all of the other traditional methods can be used to give, such as cash, check and payroll donation.