‘A Day of Caring’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Local businesses build a team to aid United Way agencies

By Deborah Goodwin

The Selma Times-Journal

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Because there are only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week, most of us can’t break our everyday routines – there’s just not enough time. But a simple investment in the right hands can make it to the places we can’t go.

On Friday, Sept. 15, the United Way of Selma and Dallas County will partner with some local business owners to kick off their 2006-2007 fundraiser drive with a “Day of Caring.” This project partners employees from local businesses with different United Way agencies to complete several community projects.

According to the Day of Caring Chairperson Kathi Needham, the purpose of the project is to “raise the awareness in our community and at the workplaces of what United Way is doing in our area.”

The United Way provides funding to support our community’s most important social service agencies.

This year’s goal is $450,000 and it cannot be reached without a helping hand from the same community these organizations reach out to help.

“Our primary function during the campaign is to raise money (to fund) our fifteen agencies,” Executive Director Jeff Cothran said.

According Cothran, the United Way of Selma and Dallas County has put “easily over $2 million back into Dallas County” over the past five years.

“All the money that is raised here has to be spent here.

It stays here.”

One pressing emergency the organization was faced with this year was aiding Hurricane Katrina victims.

United Way was able to acquire a $250,000 grant from the United Way of America.

“That just leveraged our capacity of a community organization to help people,” Cothran said.

Most people may not think of the United Way when they think of the American Red Cross, the Sickle Cell Disease Association, or the Literacy Outreach Program, but these community organizations receive funding from the United Way along with 12 others.

Any donation made to United Way – which is tax deductible

is an investment in all of them.

“It’s the easiest way to give to 15 local agencies at one time,” Cothran said.

So far four local business have committed to the Day of Caring:

Bush Hog employees are going to work at the Cahaba Center greenhouses, International Paper Riverdale mill employees are teaming up with the YMCA for several projects, Meadowcraft will work with the SABRA Sanctuary, and The Peoples Bank & Trust will be at the Salvation Army to help get their kettles ready for the upcoming Christmas Season.

The campaign will run from Sept. 15 until the end of the year.

This year’s campaign committee is made up of the entire Board of Directors of the United Way. Board President Carver Boynton is leading the effort among board members to achieve this year’s goal.

Pledges can be made to the United Way either at your workplace or by calling the United Way at 874-8383.

Remember, what’s raised in Dallas County, stays in Dallas County.