Lauren Williams Staff Writer
January 1, 2014
For those with New Year’s resolutions to think more of others, showing more support for the community, and giving more to those who are less fortunate, officials and board members with the United Way of Sampson County say to look no further.
“We’re making an appeal to the community,” said Nancy Carr, executive director of Sampson’s United Way, explaining that even though the organization’s annual fundraising campaign officially ended at the close of 2013, campaign contributions are still being accepted.
“We have had a wonderful campaign effort this year,” she noted. “We have met 90 percent of our campaign goal, but we would love to get that last bump to get us to 100 percent.”
And it’s not just about the numbers, percents, and reaching goals; it’s about the people who will be impacted by the donations that are given.
“We want to reach 100 percent so that we can provide the funding that’s going to be needed to help our agencies next year. Many in the community are still feeling the hardships of the economy, especially during the winter months,” Carr shared, mentioning how much it can cost to heat a home.
While there are numerous charities across the state, nation, and world worthy of support, Carr stressed that “all donations (to Sampson’s United Way) will directly impact our own community.”
In a letter recently sent out to community members, Carr emphasized that “when you give where you live, your dollars stay right here in our community to improve the lives of others,” explaining that campaign donations help “families in Sampson County, who, with your support, can put dinner on the table and keep the heat and lights on through emergency food and utility programs; victims of domestic violence, who, with your support, have a safe place to live with their children and receive the counseling they need to break the cycle of domestic violence; and children in our community, who, with your support, receive important educational enrichment programs and character mentoring programs as well as fitness programs aimed at fighting childhood obesity.”
These populations throughout the county are assisted by numerous agencies that United Way partners with including the Sampson Crisis Center, Girl Scouts-North Carolina Coastal Pines, Sampson County 4-H, Clinton Area Foundation for Education (C.A.F.E.), Boy Scouts of America Tuscarora Council, Sampson County Fireman’s Association, Sampson County Friends of Education, Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, U Care, Fitness Renaissance Program, and Delta Sigma Theta.
“Because of these fundraisers, individual donors and employer campaigns, United Way can help support an array of agencies and organizations who touch the lives of so many within the communities throughout Sampson County,” shared United Way of Sampson County president Kenny Cabral at the campaign’s kick-off back in October. “Promoting healthy lifestyles, developing our youth, lending a helping hand to those facing a crisis and being a resource for those who need assistance, are some of the areas United Way supports and recognizes as being key components in the enrichment and sustainability of our county.”
“Our main mission is to improve the quality of life in Sampson County,” Carr also stressed then.
With a mission like that, Sampson’s United Way set the bar high for its 2013 fundraising campaign with a goal of $175,000, a goal organization officials and board members are still hoping to reach.
“It’s not too late to give,” Carr stressed, noting that those making check donations will still receive a tax deduction so long as the check is dated Dec. 31, 2013. “If people are looking to open their hearts, you can really help make a difference in someone else’s life even with a small donation. Every little bit helps.”
For those that heed the call from United Way, they will join a group — which includes numerous individuals and others like Belk, Sampson County Schools, and Smithfield’s Clinton plant — which has shown support of United Way and it agencies this year.
Between mid-October and the end of December, area businesses made corporate donations, many employees opted to give through payroll reduction, and numerous others in the community contributed to the campaign by participating in the “Dine-Out for United Way” food fest held in late October where local restaurants — Happy Belly Deli, Tortillas Carolina, Railroad St. Steak House, Las Brasas, Alfredo’s Ristorante Italiano, Ribeyes Steakhouse, and Oasis Oyster Bar and Grill — were assigned to specific days of the week and pledged to give a percentage of their sales from that day to the United Way campaign.
Back in October, Carr praised the community at large for its continued support of United Way throughout the years. “We’ve been very pleased with the generosity of the community. Despite the current economic conditions, we still have loyal contributors.”
“We’ve done so well this year because the community has stepped up. If you’ve already given, we thank you very much,” she echoed on Monday.
For persons interested in giving to the United Way of Sampson County’s campaign, please send a check dated on or before December 31, 2013 by January 10, 2014 and made payable to United Way of Sampson County at P.O. Box 1677, Clinton, NC 28329. An acknowledgment letter will be sent for tax records.
For more information about the local United Way, please contact Nancy Carr at 910-592-4263 and visit http://www.unitedwaysampson.org.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at email@example.com.