The 2020 United Way of Unicoi County campaign has reached 20 percent of its goal. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Richard Rourk)

By Richard Rourk

United Way of Unicoi County has hit the ground running in this year’s campaign.

According to United Way of Unicoi County spokesperson Lynnsey Seagroves, the early numbers are a good start to the campaign that kicked off on Sept. 24 and will conclude on Dec. 4. Twenty percent of the $120,000 goal has already been raised.

“We are encouraged by the start of our campaign and feel confident that our community will rally together to help us reach our 2020 campaign goal of $120,000,” Seagroves said.

Seagroves acknowledged that numbers are still coming in for the first month of the campaign. “United Way fundraising drives are still underway at some of our local businesses and industries so we don’t have concrete numbers to share just yet,” Seagroves said. “We currently have donation boxes at the following locations: Steel Rails, Chips Thrift Store, Reflections Health Spa, Union Street Taproom, Erwin Outdoor Supply, Crystal Generation, Roller Pharmacy, Liberty Hardware, and Clinchfield Senior Adult Center. Donation boxes will be available at these locations through Nov. 25.”

According to Seagroves, every donation will help more than 20 local organizations

“We would like to remind our community members that a donation of any size can make an impact in our community,” Seagroves said. “For example, we were able to collect $248 in donations during the two-week collection drive at our Erwin Pal’s location.”

Seagroves would like to remind donors how important the donations are for the community.

“Unicoi County United Way campaign contributions support 22 local agencies that impact citizens of virtually every age in our community, for instance, the Unicoi County United Way supports Second Harvest Foodbank of Northeast Tennessee which provides food to students, families, and elderly members of our community,” Seagroves said. “Some of the other local agencies that our United Way donations support include the Unicoi County Public Library, Habitat for Humanity, Unicoi County YMCA, Unicoi County 4-H, Court Appointed Special Advocacy for children and Unicoi County Student Backpack Program.”

To keep track of the progress of this year’s campaign, there are signs throughout the county that shows the progress of the community.

“We have a total of four campaign thermometers – at the entrance to the Erwin Industrial Park, in Erwin across from Clarence’s, at the entrance of the Erwin Post Office and on Unicoi Drive near the Unicoi Mountain Commerce Bank location,” Seagroves said.

According to Seagroves, the United Way is thankful for everyone’s support.

“We would like to thank our local businesses and merchants for their support in helping us collect donations, and of course any donors that give to support their community,” Seagroves said.

Seagroves acknowledged that the campaign is in full swing and there are still plenty of opportunities to donate.

“The victory luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 5, so to help us meet our campaign goal of $120,000, donations would need to be submitted by Dec. 4; however, Unicoi County United Way accepts donations year-round,” Seagroves said. “We would also like to encourage our community to support the Erwin Food City Celebrity Bagging Event on Tuesday, Nov. 26, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.; it’s a great opportunity to support the Unicoi County United Way as you grocery shop for Thanksgiving festivities.”

In addition to the collection boxes, donations can be mailed directly to the Unicoi County United Way at P.O. Box 343 in Erwin. To learn more about this year’s campaign and all of the organizations that United Way helps, follow Unicoi County United Way on Facebook.