Local United Way exceeds campaign goal for 2016-17

Published 6:29 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Elizabethton Star Graphic

Elizabethton Star Graphic

For only the second time in 16 years, the United Way of Elizabethton/Carter County met its annual fundraising goal.
The agency announced it had reached its 2016-17 campaign goal of $125,000 with the help and support of hundreds of contributors from the community.
As the campaign closed, total gifts and pledges to United Way ECC reached $137,821.99. Such an outpouring of support bodes well for the organization and the community, according to 2016-17 Campaign Chair Corey Paulson.
“It’s not just about raising money, though that is important,” he said. “We set out at the beginning of this campaign to prove that this is a community united against the problems that befall our friends and neighbors. Today we met both goals.”
Though Paulson served as the chairman of the campaign, he is quick to give the credit for this year’s success to others.
“It was an absolute team effort. It was nothing I did on my own,” Paulson said. “It was Josh out pounding the pavement every day and the support we received from the community.”
“I’m so excited the community rallied together,” he added. “It was the community who did it. We had lots of businesses who supported us, and lots of new donors.”
Meeting the goal this year was a significant milestone for the organization, marking only the second time in 16 years the agency achieved its fundraising milestone. Leadership for the local United Way is hopeful this year’s success will be a trend that will continue through vigilance and hard work.
“Change is scary,” said United Way ECC Director/Community Impact Coordinator Josh McKinney. “But with an organization like ours, we have to change or we’ll die. For the people of this community, we can’t afford to go away.”
“Our friends and neighbors deserve a champion who will fight for them,” he added. “Humbly, we want to take on that honor and that burden.”
The success of this year’s campaign means the United Way of Elizabethton/Carter County can provide the funding it promised to its partner agencies. Those agencies then, in turn, use that funding to provide needed assistance to members of the community with programs that fulfill United Way’s mission to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in the community.
Currently, the United Way of Elizabethton and Carter County has seven impact partner agencies — Assistance and Resource Ministries (ARM), American Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton and Carter County, Contact 211 Ministries, Adult Day Services, the Elizabethton Senior Center, and the Neighborhood Service Center. Partner agencies receive a stipend each month from the UWECC. The agency also has two community action partners — Personal Support Services and the Sequoyah Council of the Boy Scouts of America — which each receive a one-time allotment each year from the UWECC.
In addition, some of the funds raised by the campaign will support the activities of the local United Way through services such as the FamilyWize Prescription Savings program, United Way Day of Action, and the organization’s new Community Resource Center located in the South Hills Drive community.
But, this year’s success means more for the agency than being able to meet its financial obligations.
Paulson said he believes the success will provide the organization with the momentum it needs to build upon the achievement.
“We are starting the search to put a team together for the campaign next fall,” Paulson said. “Hopefully coming off a successful campaign will allow us to attract the best people for that team.”
While Paulson will hand over the reins of leadership to someone else for the 2017-18 campaign this coming fall, he said his role with the United Way is not over.
“I plan on being a part of the team next year,” Paulson said.

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