On Aug. 29, the fundraising drive will kick off with a public gathering from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in front of WBHF 1450, 7 N. Wall St. in Cartersville. Along with doughnuts and coffee, the event will feature local United Way President Brenda Morehouse and Campaign Chairman Deanna Berry being interviewed on air by WBHF.
“I think that the United Way of Bartow County is definitely an asset to our community,” Berry said. “They support all of these vital organizations that are out there doing what they are doing to make this community so great.
“... I’m going to be out there at events with [Brenda Morehouse] really just trying to get out the message about the Bartow County United Way and how it really is a local organization. I know a lot of people look at the United Way as a big national organization, but what is raised here definitely stays here. Our United Way chapter is unique in that way.”
Officially ending Nov. 30, the drive primarily will generate funds through payroll deductions, which enables employees to donate a minimal amount yearlong, with a portion of their paycheck designated to the United Way.
Funds raised through the drive will be dispersed, based on need, to United Way’s 15 agencies: Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, Bartow County 4-H Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Bartow Civil Air Patrol, American Red Cross, Christian League for Battered Women, New Beginnings Food Outreach, The Salvation Army, Good Shepherd Foundation, Bartow Area Habitat for Humanity, Hickory Log Vocational School, North Bartow Community Services, Bartow Health Access, Girl Scouts Division of Bartow County and Advocates for Children.
“There’s a lot of times that people [who] ... don’t make as much still want to be able to contribute, but it’s hard for them to write that specific large amount of money in a one-time installment — writing a check for $50,” Morehouse said. “So we go into companies and give people an opportunity to give out of their paycheck, so they can give $1 a week, $2 a week, $5 a week, whatever they choose. It really adds up to be a lot of money, not just for that one person but then as you get all these companies together it collectively raises a lot of money.”
With Berry’s connections to several of United Way of Bartow County’s nonprofits, Morehouse believes she will be an effective chairman for this year’s campaign.
“We’re always looking for someone who is really passionate about the agencies and believes in the way United Way works and how we fund,” Morehouse said. “Deanna has played a huge role in working with Advocates for Children as a volunteer, working for Good Neighbor shelter as a volunteer. She sits on the board for Red Cross [of Northwest Georgia]. Those are all United Way agencies. So we thought wouldn’t that be great to get someone that is so involved with the agencies that really knows about what they do and where the money goes to help us get the word out about United Way and our goals.
“... It’s really important to have an advocate for your nonprofit that is a volunteer to talk to other people about it, because ... it really takes that certain person on the outside that really understands about what’s going on to be able to advocate for that nonprofit and get people aboard. So she’ll be working with me, going to companies that we are already doing payroll deduction in and going to some of the new companies, which there’s a lot of companies here in Bartow County that either have started hiring again after laying off people ... [or] new companies that are coming to town, some that have already come to town. I think that she’d be great to go out with me and be able to share the story about what she’s experienced.”
Extending her appreciation to United Way’s supporters, Morehouse said the need for her organization’s agencies is increasing.
“I just want to thank everybody that has made United Way successful in the past,” Morehouse said. “I appreciate what they’ve done and without them we wouldn’t be able to help the people that we do help. The need is so great these days and it’s a whole different clientele out there.
“It used to be the people that lived paycheck to paycheck who didn’t make very much money. It’s not like that. It’s them and some of your middle class, which these days isn’t much middle class anymore. We’re seeing so many people that need help. The need is great and we’re trying to fill that gap between what the government can’t help with or what the faith-based community can’t help with. It really takes the government, the faith-based community and your nonprofits to help fill those gaps for people that are sometimes going through a hard time.”
For more information about the United Way and its upcoming campaign, call 770-386-1677 or visit www.bartowliveunited.org.