By Richard Rourk
Logan Engle is hoping that fall is the season of giving as she gets ready to help United Way of Unicoi County launch its 2021 Virtual Campaign.
This is the second year that the campaign will kick off virtually due to the continuing pandemic.
“Our United Way Campaign Kickoff, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 8:30 a.m. will be virtual once again, due to COVID-19 safety protocols,” said Engle, who is serving as United Way of Unicoi County Vice Chairwoman.
“Our kickoff will be virtual and will feature messages from our board as well as feature community organizations that are supported by United Way of Unicoi County,” she added.
Like the previous year’s campaign, the goal will once again be $120,000.
Engle noted that the organization will depend on the generosity of local businesses and the giving spirit of county residents.
Engle explained that every donation goes directly to community programs.
“United Way of Unicoi County disburses funds to more than 20 local agencies each year,” Engle said. “Many of these organizations directly impact Unicoi County children, senior adults, and families.”
Engle said that some of these agencies include the Unicoi County YMCA, the Unicoi County Public Library, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, Court Appointment Special Advocates (CASA) for Children, the Change is Possible (CHIPS) Domestic Violence Shelter, and the Clinchfield Senior Adult Center.
“Receiving agencies are required to submit detailed funding requests and financial documentation for board approval each year to receive United Way funds,”Engle noted.
This year is especially important for the United Way of Unicoi County.
“As we continue to feel the effects of the pandemic in our region and in our community, giving back to our neighbors is more important than ever,” Engle said. “If you make a donation to Unicoi County United Way, you can make a tremendous impact for those neighbors.”
She pointed out that, through a lean structure composed of an all-volunteer board, the United Way is able to ensure that 97 cents of every dollar given goes directly to community organizations and nonprofits that serve a myriad of missions — from supporting senior adults through the provision of hot meals at the Clinchfield Senior Adult Center and placing free books in the hands of the community’s children through the Imagination Library to providing memberships and childcare at the Unicoi County Family YMCA and shoring up supplies against food insecurity through food boxes distributed by Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.
“The over 20 agencies supported by Unicoi County United Way provide essential, and often life-giving, services for the children, senior adults and families of Unicoi County,” Engle said. “Your donation, no matter how large or small, toward this year’s campaign helps to ensure that these important agencies can continue to serve our community.”
This year’s campaign concludes on Wednesday, Dec. 15.
“We will continue to monitor the effects of COVID-19 over the next several weeks to determine if an in-person victory luncheon will be held as has been done in year’s past,” Engle said. “As an organization that has a mission of caring for the most vulnerable in our community, we recognize the health and safety of Unicoi County is paramount when making decisions regarding in-person events.”
Donations can be made by cash, check or payroll contribution. Donations can always be mailed to P.O. Box 343, Erwin, TN 37650.
Last year Unicoi County United Way added an online PayPal link — bit.ly/30rv160 — for donations.
“We will feature this option in the campaign kickoff video and will make it available on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/unicoicountyunitedway.
The public can also livestream the kickoff on Facebook and YouTube channels at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct.12.