Recently, I attended a meeting that was made up of the volunteers, who behind the scenes, work diligently to promote the United Way of the Midlands program in Newberry County.
If you were to ask me, “Ted, how did you become involved in this program?” I sure hope you have more than a few minutes.
I believe it was four years ago when the United Way of the Midlands decided to make an effort to invest in Newberry County.
You see, the demands of programs offered by United Way in our county outweighed the donations from our citizens.
One does not need a degree in accounting to understand the fact that no business can last if they are paying out more than what is coming in. So, the operations folks at U-Way opted to get involved and talk to our citizens and ask questions like:
1. Why are donations falling off?
2. What can U-Way do to change this trend?
3. How can Newberry County citizens get involved?
So, after some very interesting meetings where people were asked to be frank and honest, a group was formed to attempt rebuilding trust and foster philanthropic growth in our community so that United Way could further assist our citizens.
Since I had attended all the meetings, I became one of those selected to “kick start” United Way in our county.
The first year was probably the most difficult since we were attempting to change people’s mindset of past performances at United Way.
We felt if we could show some local success stories right here in our community, it would make our endeavor a success. Also, if United Way could increase their presence throughout Newberry County and offer assistance in more areas of our county, everyone would see that this was a collective effort.
We saw immediate results and from that point on, it became easier to get each of you to agree to give not only of your money, but of your time.
So, as we near the completion of the 2012 United Way campaign in our county, which by the way was a record year of giving, let’s all look at the 2013 campaign and some of the programs that helped many of our fellow citizens:
1. The after school program offered in our public schools
3. Free Medical Clinic
4. Meals to our senior citizens
Those programs allowed each of you to see the value of supporting the United Way Program. Yes, 2012 was a record year and with additional new programs available, we are confident 2013 will surpass last year.
You can opt to help in U-Way 2013, or in many of the endeavors that your chamber promotes simply by calling 803-276-4274 and allow either Liz, Michelle or me to tell you of the many benefits of chamber membership as well as volunteer options.