United Way sets goal

Published 11:22 am Saturday, October 13, 2012


Kathy Worrell, a board director on the Franklin-Southampton Area United Way, talks with Joe Hutt, left, and Dick Gilbert. They attended the kickoff of the organization’s 2012 campaign during a breakfast meeting Thursday. -- STEPHEN H. COWLES/TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—The Franklin-Southampton Area United Way launched its 2012 campaign Thursday and has set a goal of $175,000 — the same as last year.

“I’m cautiously optimistic we’ll raise more than last year,” said Anne Bryant, executive director. “We just mailed letters and are just getting started, so there’s nothing to go by yet.”

Bryant said $166,000, which includes administrative grants, was raised last year. The area United Way distributed exactly $155,000. The grants pay for both Bryant’s salary, as well as expenses such as advertising.

“It’s not about the money, it’s about filling the need,” said Frank Rickman, campaign chairman. He was one of the four speakers during the breakfast program in the East Pavilion auditorium, with about 50 people attending.

The money is used to support the work by the 27 agencies.

The newest is the Western Tidewater Free Clinic. Texie Marks, development director of the Suffolk-based site, said 22 percent of its clients come from Franklin and Southampton County.

As an example of how the clinic serves its patients, the Capron native spoke about a woman with three abscessed teeth. She got care through a dental program set up in 2011, the same year as an on-site prescription service.

The woman was crying after the treatment, but not from pain.

“She said, ‘It’s the first time anyone ever really cared about me,’” said Marks.

“We see that all the time,” said Dr. Diana Conco, a member of the clinic’s board of directors.

“You give because of people that Diana and Texie told you about. There are hundreds of thousands other stories,” added Bryant.

The campaign officially stops at year’s end, but contributions are certainly welcome anytime. For more information, call 569-8929 or uw@uwfranklinsouthampton.org. You may also visit www.franklinunitedway.org.