United Way kicks off campaign

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

You don’t know what another person goes through until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

On Friday, employees from local businesses partnered up with United Way agencies kicking off the United Way campaign with a Day of Caring. Volunteers were treated to a barbeque luncheon at the Farmers Co-Op on Highland Avenue for all of their hard work.

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“The fact that you all have shown your interests and your concern for what’s done in our community is very heart warming,” Day of Caring Chairman Kathi Needham, said.

Hanil E Hwa employees partnered with the Red Cross to clean the carpet.

“It was a good thing,” said Hanil E Hwa employee Renee Smith.

Just being in the office for one day opened the eyes of Smith and co-worker Rick Shuford.

“They’re a lot needy of people in Dallas County,” Smith said.

Employees from Bush Hog partnered with Cahaba Mental Health.

“It’s been wonderful,” Cahaba employee Lafon Barlow said of the extra help.

“They did a mountain of work.”

The tired volunteers sat, laughed, showed their blisters and shared a common pleasure in knowing that they had done a good deed as a team.

“We enjoyed it so much – helping out one of the agencies,” Bush Hog employee Jule

Booker said.

“The clients were so receptive of us being there.”

International Paper employees partnered with the Brown YMCA and the new YMCA.

The nine volunteers assembled tables and chairs at the Brown YMCA for their new computer lab and pressure washed at the new YMCA facility.

They were all in agreement that the work they’d done was appreciated and they would volunteer their services again.

Two of the employees said they thought the Day of Caring was important because it showed involvement with the community and support for the non-profit agencies.

“We just really appreciate you all taking up a little slack so agencies didn’t have to put money into this service and they can put their time and attention into what they do best,” United Way Board President Carver Boynton said.

Boynton gave thanks to all participants including the media: WALX,WHBB, WAKA, WBFZ and The Selma Times-Journal.

She gave a special thanks to Needham for partnering the businesses with the United Way agencies by presenting her with the first ever Selma Mall gift card. Donald Young of WBFZ was the lucky winner of a second gift card found under his seat.

The seven companies participating in the Day of Caring were Meadow Craft, HealthLink, Bush Hog, International Paper, Hanil E Hwa, Vaughan Community Health Services and Peoples Bank.

This year’s campaign goal is $450,000 and United Way is off to a fast start. Alabama Power, Henry Brick and Wal-mart are leading the pack with company pledges.

“I’m pleased to announce as of today, the official kickoff of the campaign, we are at 10 percent of our goal,” United Way Executive Director Jeff Cothran said.

“We’ve raised a little over $45,000 by some great participation by some great industries here in town.”

The campaign will run from Sept. 15 through Dec. 31. All companies and citizens are encouraged to participate.

All donations are tax deductible and pledges can be made through payroll deduction at your place of employment or by calling the United Way office at 874-8383.

Remember, all money raised in Dallas County stays in Dallas County.