Without IP, United Way pleased with drive

Published 8:49 am Friday, February 18, 2011

FRANKLIN—The Franklin/Southampton Area United Way’s annual campaign raised $83,000 less this year than in 2010; it’s a number Anne Williams can live with.

“I was thrilled,” Williams said about this year’s effort, which raised $185,000 — $15,000 less than its goal — without an annual contribution for International Paper. Williams is the board president from the local United Way.

IP, which closed its Franklin mill last year and eliminated 1,100 jobs, and its employees routinely contributed from 40 to 50 percent of the total funds for the campaign, said local United Way Executive Director Anne Bryant. Proceeds are divided among 24 non-profit groups, which last year served 20,000 Western Tidewater residents.

“With the paper mill, we really didn’t expect to have the results that we had this year,” Williams said. “We really thought we would get hit (harder). Fortunately, it did not happen.”

The local United Way raised $268,000 last year, surpassing its $250,000 goal. The goal for this year’s campaign was $200,000, Bryant said.

Contributions came from individuals, employees through workplace campaigns, company donations and foundation grants.

This year’s largest contributors were Ashland Hercules Water Technologies and its employees, who committed $12,047, Bryant said.

“They were head and shoulders above any other company,” she said. “They do a great job and have been our second (biggest contributor) all along (before IP closed.)”

“I think the people from the community have stepped up to the plate and realized that everyone has to help each other,” Williams added. “Really, it’s typical Franklin, to rally around the flagpole when someone else needs it. Hopefully, it will continue onto the next year.”

The United Way split up $174,500. The money was given to the American Red Cross for disaster relief; Blackwater Regional Library for summer reading programs; Boy Scouts in the Colonial VA Council for training and camp scholarships; Boys & Girls Club for after-school homework, reading and mentoring programs; Children’s Center for Early Head Start, early intervention and pediatric therapy; Edmarc for pediatric hospice care, nursing and bereavement counseling; and Foodbank of Southeast Virginia, which supports Backpack programs at Capron and S.P. Morton elementary schools.

Also, ForKids, a Suffolk House homeless shelter; Franklin Charity Fund for emergency assistance for utilities, rent, medicines, motel costs and transportation; Franklin Cooperative Ministry, emergency assistance for utilities, rent, mortgage, prescriptions, dental and food and clothing distributions; Genieve Shelter for victims of domestic violence; Girl Scouts in the Colonial Coast Council for training and support for troops with at-risk girls; Graz’n Acres for its special education morning program; and Habitat for Humanity for home construction.

Also, High Street Seniors for fellowship, educational and entertainment programs; Make-A-Wish for children with life-threatening illnesses; Ra’Gene Brittnae’ Myrick Foundation to help families with disabled children; Salvation Army for emergency assistance for utilities, rent, mortgage and food; Senior Services of Southeast Virginia for I-Ride bus service; Sickle Cell Association for education on the disease and support for victims; and Southampton County Charity Fund for emergency assistance for utilities, rent, medicines, motel costs and transportation.

Finally, Tidewater Youth Services for tutoring, mentoring and counseling students at J.P. King Middle School in Franklin; Virginia Legal Aid for assistance to low-income families; and James L. Camp Jr. YMCA for its fourth-grade learn-to-swim program, subsidized memberships and Black Achievers.

Franklin-Southampton Charities, the Camp Foundation, Ruth Camp Campbell Foundation and Camp-Younts Foundation provided grants to cover administrative expenses.

“Because of their generosity, every dollar you give goes to support agency programs in Franklin and Southampton,” Bryant said.

Donations may still be sent to the United Way at P.O. Box 366, Franklin, Va., 23851, or by going to www.franklinunitedway.org and clicking on “Donate Now.”