Be generous when it comes to United Way
by Jack McNeely
Aug 04, 2013 | 644 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jack McNeely
Jack McNeely
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The folks at the United Way of Central Alabama are prepping for a successful 2014 fundraising campaign here in Walker County. This year’s theme is GENEROS-City: Make generosity more than an act. Make it a destination.

Last year, Walker County folks pitched in $1.1 million. That’s a significant number considering the size of this market and the fact that other deserving agencies dependent on giving, such as Walker Area Community Foundation, are also generously funded by the community year-in and year-out.

Brent McCarver, a loan officer at First Bank of Jasper, is campaign chair for the upcoming United Way fundraising effort.

He has asked local business and community leaders to work with him to prime the business community for another successful campaign.

Joining me on McCarver’s steering committee includes Susan McKinney of Alabama Power, Kevin Callahan of Honda/Hyundai of Jasper, Carol Alexander and Charlotte Pugh of White Pepper Real Estate, Jud Allen of Jackson, Fikes, Hood and Brakefield Law Firm, Carol and Joe Downs of Downs & Associates, Lamar Lawrence of the Social Security Administration, Monique Rector of Jasper City Schools and Bruce Windham, retired Drummond Company.

If you see any of us walking through your door in coming weeks, don’t run! We are there to share the good will of the 11 partner agencies here in Walker County that garner much-needed support from local United Way contributors like you.

Meanwhile, last year nine givers were responsible for 80 percent of the funds raised for Walker County. They include: Drummond Company, First Bank of Jasper, The Arc of Walker County, Walker Baptist Medical Center, Crowne Partners, Bankhead Foundation, Pinnacle Bank, Alabama Power Company and Walker County Schools.

Perhaps the easiest way to make a personal impact is to participate in a payroll deduction program if your employer offers it.

I know times are tough, but even a small deduction goes a long way here in Walker County.

Walker County is considered a “Receiver” county in United Way terms. That means we receive more funds than we contribute. A successful 2013 campaign earmarked more than $1.2 million for 11 agencies operating within Walker County. They include:

•American Red Cross

•Arc of Walker County

•Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham

•Boy Scouts of America – Black Warrior Council

•Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Alabama

•Concerned Citizens for Our Youth/Beacon House

•Family Resource Center of Northwest Alabama/Daybreak

•Disability Rights and Resources

•Positive Maturity

•Salvation Army of Walker County

•Walker County Needy School Children’s Fund

These United Way partner agencies served nearly 30,000 Walker County residents last year.

Your contributions go a long way. Just take a look at how your money may be utilized:

•$1.61 will buy one pound of groceries

•$4 will buy transportation for a senior citizen to a medical appointment

•$7 will buy one night in a shelter

•$50 will buy job placement services for a senior adult

•$60 will buy day care for a homeless child for one month

•$60 will buy services to reduce the cost of medication for a senior person on a fixed income

•$340 will buy preschool daycare for one month

•$500 will buy counseling services

•$615 will buy sheltered employment for one month to a person with handicapping conditions

•$1,000 will buy homework helpline assistance for 240 children

•$1,000 will buy summer camping experience for seven children

•$2,000 will pay for the telephone bill of a crises counseling line for one month

•$3,000 stocks a food pantry for one month

So, let’s feed the hungry, promote health and wellness, shelter the homeless, education the community, provide meaningful employment, advocate for the poor and needy and, most importantly, give hope, care and human dignity to vulnerable people in our community!

Jack McNeely is the publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle and can be contacted by phone at 205-221-2840 or via email at jack.mcneely@mountaineagle.com.