LAURINBURG — Many of the recipients of the awards handed out at the United Way of Scotland County’s appreciation banquet last week were from agencies who receive funding from the charity.
This is perhaps not surprising when considering that those groups know the true impact of the money that the United Way provides.
“Speaking for Scotland County Literacy, without United Way we probably wouldn’t be able to keep our doors open and provide the services we do without their support. They’ve been a great support for out agency,” said Carolyn McNeil program and tutor coordinator for Scotland County Literacy Council.
The Literacy Council was one of five groups which had 100 percent of its employees and or board members donate to the United Way’s fund raising campaign over the past year. The Literacy Council had two full-time employees and seven board members who gave to the United Way.
The United Way gave out 39 awards for donors in six categories on Thursday evening at Nichols Propane. The charity also recognized a Volunteer of the Year and gave out a United Way Service Award.
“It’s basically just a celebration that we’ve reached our campaign goal and that we do appreciate the donors that we have and show them where their donations go to because the nonprofits will be represented here tonight as well,” said Coy Moody, director of the United Way. “We appreciate the support that we get from our community. We have a giving community.”
The 2017/18 fundraising campaign exceeded its $270,000 bringing in over $316,000. Next year’s goal has been set at $280,000.
That money will support agencies and charities that provide valuable resources and services to the residents of Scotland County. The 19 nonprofit partners who receive assistance from the United Way are: the American Red Cross, Scotland County 4-H, Cape Fear Council- Boy Scouts, Scotland County Literacy Council, Church Community Services, Scotland County Firefighter’s Association, Domestic Violence Rape Crisis Center, NC Coastal Pines Girl Scouts, Scotland County Senior Games, Habitat for Humanity, Scotland County Special Olympics, Scotland Community Health Clinic, Scotland Family Counseling Center, NAACP-ACTSO Youth Council, Scots for Youth, Project Inasmuch, Scotland Youth Development, LRDC – Meals on Wheels, and the Scotland County Humane Society.
The evening may have been to celebrate donors, but the true celebration comes with the success of the partner agencies and their positive impact on the community, according to Moody.
“That’s the sign that we’re doing the right thing. When you see that family receive their keys to their brand new home courtesy of Habitat for Humanity, when you see a single a single mom leaving Church Community Services with a bag of food and household items to get her through that rough patch, the availability of the Community Health Center,” she said. “We celebrate that adult that’s walked out of the Literacy Council who’s read their book for the very first time because the Literacy council believed and worked with them.”
Moody mentioned each agency by name and enumerated its benefit to those who reach out to them for help or those who participate in their programs.
“Some of my most emotional moments since I’ve been here is listening to Mrs. Virginia Ray talking about food insecurity for our young children,” Moody said.
Ray runs Project Inasmuch which packs meals and sends them home with children when school dismisses for the weekend or holidays because those children may not have another meal until school resumes.
Moody told the audience that the number on the United Way’s donations meter meant nothing if the money was not used “to make an impact in our community,” and to better it and the lives of people. She said the scenarios that she laid out were realities for many in the county and represented donations at work.
Kevin Patterson, United Way board president, shared his thoughts on the history of the charity and what it does for the county.
“The United Way of Scotland County has been around for 65 years. We’ve been working in the community. You’ve been working in the community. Generations before you, generations after have been continuing the work, continuing the strong and proud tradition of making our community a better place to live.”
Patterson called the United Way’s fundraising a community effort saying that it takes an “entire community” to generate the money that benefits the county’s nonprofits.
Patterson also announced that Carol Nichols would be serving as board president for the upcoming year.
Awards were given to businesses, charities, and individuals who raised money and donated time and or services to the United Way.
The Service award was given to Tommy Brigman who is stepping down from service to the program after many years.
“[Tommy] has repeatedly given his time and talents to the United Way, and has served on the United Way board for so many years that I haven’t been able to find out when he joined our board,” Mood said.
Brigman has held different positions on the board including president and never turned down a request to help the program including offering advice, according to Moody.
The Volunteer of the Year prize was awarded to Kim Liles.
“This award is very special to me because this has been my first year with the United Way and I depended heavily upon volunteers to help me get through every event … and this person did not disappoint me,” Moody said. “Every time I’ve mentioned volunteers it was just like magic. She was just there. I know there were so many times she wanted to say, ‘Coy I can’t do that, but she never did.”
The Award of Excellence is reserved for companies that have at least five employees with a pledged average of $50 or more per employee including corporate gifts. The companies receiving this year’s award were: Campbell Soup, Hanesbrands, Laurinburg Housing Authority, Railroad Friction Products, Scotland Family Counseling Center, Scotland Health Care System and Service Thread Manufacturing Company.
The Outstanding Achievement Award is for agencies or companies that have seen at least a 15 percent increase in pledges for the current campaign over past campaign years. Those receiving this award were: Laurinburg Housing Authority, Scotland Health Care System and St. Andrews University.
The 100 Percent Participation Award goes to entities that have at least five employees with all employees donating to the United Way. Groups with 100 percent were: Laurel Hill Elementary School, the board of directors for the Scotland County Humane Society, Scotland County Literacy Council, Scotland Family Counseling Center and South Scotland Elementary School.
The Award of Appreciation is reserved for companies and groups which provide in kind goods or services and event sponsors. Those providing in kind services to the United Way this year were: Hanesbrands, Nic’s Pic Kwik, Laurinburg /Scotland County Area Chamber Of Commerce, Scotland County Schools, Scotland Health Care System, Service Thread Manufacturing, The Laurinburg Exchange and WLNC Radio.
“We are very appreciative of these recipients because their gifts allow us to operate without much overhead, allowing us to give back more,” said Moody.
The Community Impact Award is for individuals and businesses that help make an impact on the United Way’s campaign goal. This year’s recipients are: Charles Craft, Nic’s Pic Kwik, Meritor, Pilkington, Scotland County Schools, Scotland Regional Hospice, St. Andrews University, Wade S. Dunbar Insurance Agency and We Pack Logistics.
The Presidents Community Spirit Award is reserved for to those whose donations have exceeded $10,000. Donors in this category were: Campbell Soup Company, Hanesbrands, Railroad Friction Products Corp, Service Thread Manufacturing Company, Scotland County, Scotland Health Care System and ZV Pate.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169