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United Way campaign begins

The United Way of Unicoi County launched its annual campaign with a kickoff breakfast Monday, Oct. 6, morning at the Clinchfield Senior Adult Center.
Around 100 members of the community were in attendance. Lee Brown, president of the county United Way, announced that the 2015 campaign goal is $105,000.
Unicoi County High School seniors played a part in this year’s campaign breakfast. Cheyenne Haun, the runner-up in the 2014 Unicoi County’s Got Talent contest, sang the national anthem. Seniors Morgan Brown, Dylan Roberts, Eric Arnett, Zack Thelen, Davis Webb and Laura Rogers also assisted with the event.
As in past years, the money raised during the campaign will be distributed to a number of different charities in the county.
The anticipated numbers for this year’s budget break down is as follows:
• The Appalachian Girl Scout Council will receive $2,000. The funds will be used to provide training, publications and professional staff services for Girl Scout adult volunteers to enable them to effectively work with young girls in the community.
• CASA of Northeast Tennessee is slated to receive $3,000. The organization provides court-appointed volunteers to help children through difficult times. Volunteers help them find safe homes, appropriate resources for treatment and the chance to heal from the past to benefit their future.
• The Children’s Advocacy Center of the First Judicial District will receive $2,000. This group helps combat sexual abuse and severe physical abuse against children by coordinating and providing services to children in a safe, caring environment.
• CHIPS Inc. will receive $4,500 to help provide shelter, counseling and assistance for victims of family violence in the counties of Washington, Unicoi, Carter and Greene.
• The Clinchfield Senior Adult Center will receive $24,000 which will be used to provide various services for older adults in a wide variety of activities. Those activities are implemented to promote individual dignity, independence and healthy lifestyles. The Center serves more than 500 people.
• The Col. J.F. Toney Memorial Library will receive $10,000 to help offer library services to Unicoi County citizens. The library circulates approximately 40,000 books annually. An additional $3,500 will go to the Col. J.F. Toney Memorial Library maintenance fund.
• Contact Ministries will receive $4,000. The funds will be used to support the entity’s 24-hour telephone crisis intervention and counseling program.
• Erwin Little League will receive $3,000 to pay entrance fees and purchase equipment for children who can’t afford it.
• Habitat For Humanity of Unicoi County is slated to receive $5,000.
• The Monroe Foundation, which will receive $2,000, provides scholarships for qualifying Unicoi County High School seniors who wish to pursue a career in healthcare and also agree to work at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital following graduation.
• The Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee will receive $2,500.
• The Sequoyah Council Boy Scouts of America will receive $2,000, which will go towards providing training and material for volunteer adult leaders.
The Tennessee Rehabilitation Center will receive $1,600 to help provide vocational evaluation, employee development and job placement services to people with vocational disabilities.
• The Unicoi County 4-H Club will receive $3,000.
• The Unicoi County Family YMCA will receive $10,000. The money will be used to help the YMCA provide programs for youth that encourage developments in several key areas, such as self-confidence, fair play and their faith, based on the example of Jesus Christ.
• The Unicoi County Health Department will receive $1,300.
• The Unicoi County Shoe Fund will receive $3,500 to help clothe children who find themselves in difficult circumstances. Approximately 120 children receive help each year.
• The Unicoi County Student Dental Program will receive $2,000 and the Unicoi County Backpack Program will receive $10,000. The Backpack Program is a community day of action geared toward preparing children for going back to school. The funds are used to provide shoes, clothing, school supplies and food backpacks.
• The Unicoi County Literacy Program funds are utilized by the Unicoi County Rotary Club to purchase dictionaries for students in the school system as well as for students at the high school Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference. They will receive $1,000.
• $5,100 will be used for administrative costs for the campaign.
Brown reminded everyone in attendance that by donating, they are investing in the ideas and missions of the organizations within the community and the people in whom they believe.
Those interested in contributing to the Unicoi County United Way may do so by mailing donations to P.O. Box 34, Erwin, TN 37650. The 2015 campaign will wrap up in mid-December.