By Brad Hicks
Unicoi County United Way President Lee Brown announced during Thursday’s United Way Victory Luncheon held at the Clinchfield Senior Adult Center that the local United Way had not only met, but surpassed its loftier fundraising goal for its 2017 campaign.
The Unicoi County United Way has received donations and pledges totaling $139,066 for its 2017 fundraising campaign, Brown said. This is well above the $120,000 goal the organization had set for the campaign.
“Each year, the community rises to the occasion and, again, produces a successful United Way campaign,” Brown said. “This year is no different.”
On Oct. 18, the Unicoi County United Way kicked off its 2017 fundraising campaign. The $120,000 goal set for the campaign is up from the $105,000 goal the organization set for its 2016 campaign.
Last year was a record-setting year for Unicoi County United Way, as the organization raised nearly $148,000 during its 2016 campaign. This amount – the most ever raised during an annual campaign – prompted the local United Way Board to increase the goal for the 2017 campaign.
“Our board made a big leap of faith this year in raising our campaign goal from $105,000 to $120,000,” Brown said. “Typically, we’ve been a very conservative board and never made a jump quite of that nature. But we felt confident that our community would once again rise to the occasion and produce great results.”
The majority of the funding raised during the 2017 campaign -– $116,820 – will be provided to local nonprofit organizations to help them better serve the citizens of Unicoi County. Those set to receive this funding are:
• Children’s Advocacy Center of the First Judicial District – $2,000
• Change is Possible (CHIPS) Family Violence Shelter – $5,000
• Clinchfield Senior Adult Center – $25,000
• Unicoi County Public Library – $12,500
• Col. J.F. Toney Memorial Library – $5,000
• Contact Ministries, Inc. – $4,000
• Erwin Little League – $3,000
• Monroe Foundation – $2,500
• Second Harvest Food Bank – $5,000
• Sequoyah Council of Boy Scouts of America – $2,000
• Tennessee Rehabilitation Center – $5,000
• Unicoi County 4-H Club – $3,320
• Unicoi County Family YMCA – $12,000
• Unicoi County Health Department – $1,500
• Unicoi County Literacy Program – $2,000
• Unicoi County Shoe Fund – $5,000
• Unicoi County Student Backpack Program – $10,000
• Unicoi County Student Dental Program – $3,000
• Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) – $4,000
• Habitat for Humanity of Unicoi County – $5,000
David Erickson, who serves on the Unicoi County United Way Board, also presented $17,500 in additional funding. Erickson said some years, the Unicoi County United Way is able to provide additional organizations and projects with contingency fund appropriations.
“We have agencies that we help on a regular basis, but there are agencies that come to us with special requests throughout the year,” Erickson said. “So when there are funds available, it’s always good to be able to help those organizations, and this is one of those years we can do that.”
Those organizations receiving contingency fund appropriations were the Unicoi County Little League, which received an additional $12,000 to help complete a fencing project; the Erwin Kiwanis Foundation, which received $4,000 to support its annual Christmas Shopping Tour; and the Imagination Library, which received $1,500.
Brown said remaining funding from the 2017 campaign will be put toward upcoming projects and programs.
Erickson and Brown also recognized the Unicoi County United Way’s campaign partners. Those recognized were NN, Inc., Regal Beloit/Morrill Motors, Specialty Tires, Impact Plastics, Unicoi County Memorial Hospital, Unicoi County Schools, Unicoi County Gas Utility District, Nuclear Fuel Services, United Steel Workers and Erwin Utilities.
Brown also expressed his appreciation to all who had made contributions during the Unicoi County United Way’s 2017 campaign. He said another successful year would not have been possible without the community’s direct support.
“Thank you to each and every one that has had a part in raising funds or just making your own personal contribution,” Brown said.
Brown concluded Thursday’s Victory Luncheon by quoting missionary Amy Carmichael, who once said, ‘You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.’
“Our community generosity displays what great love of community that we have,” Brown said. “It’s something that I don’t think you find everywhere else.”