United Way Campaign facing shortfall

Published 11:45 am Friday, February 14, 2014

by Anne Bryant

United Way needs your help – your donation. Not for United Way, but for the people that United Way agencies help – your friends, neighbors, co-workers.As we wrap up the campaign, Franklin-Southampton Area United Way has reached less than 75 percent of goal. We are in danger of having $10,000 – $15,000 less than the $150,000 we gave to agencies in 2013. This means that fewer people here in Franklin and Southampton will get the help they need.

Why should you care? United Way agencies touch about 1 in 2 people living in Franklin and Southampton. They (including many of you reading this column) may get financial assistance or take advantage of the many programs offered – summer reading activities at libraries, Boys and Girls Club or Boy and Girl scouts, 4th grade learn to swim.

Why should you give? It’s easy! One donation goes to support 25 local agencies. Here are some of the people that these agencies have helped thanks to our donors. The only reason we are able to help is because you helped.

Do you know someone who has lost his job – and insurance benefits along with a paycheck? Fred is just one of many who lost his job. Fred has high blood pressure and needed regular medical care just to stay alive. He heard about Western Tidewater Free Clinic and became a patient there.

Fred was uninsured for two years. During this time, doctors saw him in both the medical and dental clinics. He often struggled with getting to his appointments due to a lack of transportation, but the staff always took good care of him when he got there.

Finally – Fred found full-time employment with health benefits. Although Fred no longer needed the Clinic, he did not forget the folks that cared for him during more difficult times. Fred volunteered to do some site work at the Clinic. In his own words, “I was so glad someone was there when I needed them and I wanted to return the favor.”

Here are a few more true stories about local people you have helped.

• “Sam” was robbed at 10 a.m. at the Wal-Mart 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.

• “Andrea” urgently needed her diabetes medicine – medicine she could not afford. Franklin Cooperative Ministries helped her fill this vital prescription.

• I-Ride buses have over 8000 riders a year. Folks go to doctors, hospital, grocery stores, library, down town, to visit friends.

Will you give today? Your friends, neighbors and co-workers are counting on you.

Our goal of $200,000 includes grants for administrative expenses. Thanks to Franklin-Southampton Charities and various Camp Foundations, these costs are covered so that 100 percent of your tax-deductible donation goes to agency programs.

Mail donations to FSAUW/PO Box 366/Franklin, VA 23851 or give on-line at www.franklinunitedway.org.

ANNE BRYANT is executive director of the Franklin-Southampton Area United Way. She can be reached at 569-8929 or uw@uwfranklinsouthampton.org.