‘Tis the season for giving

Published 11:05 am Wednesday, December 19, 2012

by Anne Bryant

Yes, it’s the season for giving – and this is a very giving community.

Franklin-Southampton Area United Way has reached 60 percent of its goal of $175,000 with several workplace campaigns still to report. Thank you!

While the campaign is going pretty well, we could still use your help. Maybe we can help each other.

Are you still shopping for that last-minute gift? Or for the person who is hard to buy for because he or she has everything?

How about the perfect gift in their honor of helping your community?

A gift to United Way helps so many. Last year, 26 United Way partner agencies helped local folks more than 26,000 times. One of our board members, Danny Dillon, commented that it is a blessing to be a blessing. So true.

When you give to United Way, who are you helping? Here are some real-life local stories.

■ When Brenda Tennessee lost her health insurance during breast cancer treatment, Western Tidewater Free Clinic stepped in to help her finish her treatment, including surgery.

■ “Sam” was robbed at 10 a.m. at the Walmart in Franklin. He had just cashed his disability check when he was robbed. He could not pay his rent and would have faced eviction. Salvation Army helped him out of this emergency situation.

■ After J.B.’s Rattles snakes and reptiles summer program at the library, a 5-year-old boy talked about what he had learned. First, never pick up a dead snake; second, never kill a snake; and third, never tease anyone with a snake. Sounds like good lessons to learn!

■ I-Ride busses have more than 5,000 riders a year. Folks go to doctors, hospital, grocery stores, the library, downtown and to visit friends. And it costs only $1 per ride rather than $5, $10 or more.

■ Families with disabled children were less anxious as Regina Myrick guided them through the maze of resources to get the help they needed.

Helping others is the best reason to give to United Way, but here are few additional reasons:

■ One donation combined with a lot of others helps many.

■ All the money stays local for Franklin and Southampton County residents.

■ One hundred percent of every donation goes to agency programs; grants from the Camp Foundations and Franklin-Southampton Charities pay administrative expenses.

■ United Way Citizens Review Committee made up of board members and citizens at large reviews and monitors agencies. We do our best to make sure your money is spent appropriately.

■ We help fund small, “under the radar” agencies that meet critical needs such as the Ra’Gene Myrick Foundation.

■ Your donation is tax deductible.

You can give by mailing a check to Franklin-Southampton Area United Way at P.O. Box 366, Franklin, Va., 23851. You can pay by credit card at our website www.franklinunitedway.org.

We also do bill at home, and payroll deduction is available at many companies.

Call Anne Bryant at 569-8929 for further information.

Anne Bryant  is executive director for the Franklin-Southampton Area United Way and can be reached at uw@uwfranklinsouthampton.org.