By Richard Rourk
The United Way of Unicoi County got a nice Christmas present this year. The group announced just prior to the recent holiday that it had met its 2021 fundraising goal, which was met largely through its 2021 Virtual Campaign, The campaign spanned from the October kickoff to the December end date.
Just like in 2020, this year’s goal was $120,000. “I am pleased to announce that we did meet and succeed the proposed $120,000 goal,” Engle said. “We had our board meeting recently and it was announced that we met and exceeded the $120,000.”
This was the second year that the campaign kicked off virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our United Way Campaign Kickoff started Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 8:30 a.m. and was done virtually once again, due to COVID-19 safety protocols,” said United Way of Unicoi County Vice Chairwoman Logan Engle.
Engle explained that the giving nature of Unicoi County made this year’s campaign a success.
“Our contributions are made up from a variety of sources,” Engle said. “Businesses, manufacturers and local industry held pledge drives to run parallel with our campaign. We have several organizations where employees donated through payroll deductions. We also had a number of personal contributions. We will be accepting those contributions year-round.”
Another source of funding came when United Way of Unicoi County teamed with Food City for the grocery chain’s annual Celebrity Bagging Event, which took place at Food City’s Erwin store on Nov. 23.
“We had teams from businesses and organizations throughout Unicoi County that bagged groceries for tips to benefit the United Way,” Engle said. “This is part of an effort from Food City throughout their service region to partner with United Way. This is the second year we have done this. Last year was canceled due to COVID. Carolyn McAmis from CHIPS is the board member locally that headed up the celebrity baggers.”
The funding from United Way goes right back into the community.
“We are able to give to so many worthy programs inside Unicoi County with these donations,” Engle said.
Individuals and businesses were able to make a direct donation through the organization’s Paypal account (https://bit.ly/30rv160) or by mail (PO Box 343, Erwin, TN 37650). Some businesses also offer their individual employees the opportunity to contribute through a payroll deduction plan. Individuals or businesses not currently offering payroll deductions can email current board chair David Erickson at [email protected] for more information.