In the last 25 years, the United Way of Sampson County has invested more than $3 million into the community, only improving lives and helping friends and neighbors in need.
The 2017 campaign is currently underway and the goal for the United Way of Sampson County has been set at $175,000.
According to Nancy Carr, executive director for Sampson County’s United Way, last year’s campaign was a huge success, bringing in more than the set goal. Approximately $186,000 was collected through the backing of local donors and a successful fundraising feast, all funds that remain in Sampson County. Of those funds, $11,000 has been earmarked for long-term disaster relief efforts related to Hurricane Matthew.
“The money raised in Sampson County stays here to improve the quality of life for residents living in our county,” Carr noted.
United Way works with 10 partner agencies in Sampson County, and in April, they partnered with the Carolina Panthers to bring the Play 60 health and fitness program to Roseboro Elementary School.
In addition to partnering with local agencies, Carr said the local organization has positioned the local United Way to help respond during disasters with the new community assistance trailer.
Following Hurricane Matthews, members assisted flood victims and those affected by a straight-line wind storm during the spring.
“We also are leading a collaborative effort to establish our county’s first long term disaster recovery group named IMPACT Sampson,” Carr explained. “The mission of this group is to assist those individuals affected by disaster who have exhausted all other resources. By coordinating with agencies, volunteer organizations and community business partners, IMPACT Sampson will work with those affected by disaster to help them leverage resources to address unmet needs.”
According to Carr, 97 percent of what is raised each year is dispersed among the 11 partner agencies supported through United Way. While more money might leave local communities under other UW chapters, that is not the case with Sampson’s. Carr attested that out of all money raised, a mere 3 percent is used for the group’s license, print materials, office space and miscellaneous expenses.
The rest goes right back into the community.
“We’re very proud of that,” Carr asserted. “Some other United Ways can’t say that. We’re here to help our county.”
Carr credited several of the organization’s “pacesetters” with getting the 2017 campaign started right. Among them are Smithfield-Farmland, Sampson County Schools and Clinton City Schools. Each of the pacesetters are working to collect funds for the campaign, but their official totals haven’t been determined.
Carr said the perception by some is that money raised here goes elsewhere. That could not be further from the truth, she said, with United Way officials stressing to everyone that money raised locally stays local.
Local United Way president Dr. Stuart Blount agrees, adding that it’s up to the community to make a difference.
“This is our community, and it’s up to us to make it the best it can be,” Blount said. “With your support, Sampson County can be a place where every man, woman, and child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Current partner agencies with United Way are CAFE, Sampson County Department of Aging, Boy Scouts of America Tuscarora Council, Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, Girl Scouts-North Carolina Coastal Plains, Sampson County Child Advocacy Center, Sampson County 4-H, Sampson County Fireman’s Association, Sampson County Friends of Education and Special Olympics Sampson County.
For some of these agencies, the money received through United Way is the only source of funding for the organization, which must be a non-profit organization.
“It is important to remember, that the money so generously given by those living in our community is used to improve the lives of friends and neighbors who live in Sampson County,” Carr said. “Your support is an investment in our community’s future success. We are committed to building a stronger community, together.”
Some agencies have been turned down due to the fact they do not meet United Way’s guidelines. For any group, whether selected as a partner agency or not, the United Way reaches out to give them tips and assistance as much as they can.
Assistance is available to non-profit, 501-C3, non religious affiliated organizations who qualify to become a partner agency.
In the past, United Way of Sampson County was able to:
• sponsor the Special Olympics Spring Games and allow more than 200 athletes to participate and enjoy the spirit of competition and success;
• help serve hundreds of children who were victims of sexual or severe physical abuse by funding forensic interviews and medical exams to assist in the arrest and prosecution of suspects;
• provide fire safety coloring books to thousands of elementary students who learned the lifesaving technique of stop, drop and roll;
• invest in teacher mini grants enriching student learning;
• fund the building of wheelchair ramps for older adults and children with disabilities;
• invest in youth development programs focused on teaching skills needed to succeed in life and exciting “learning by doing” experiences;
• fund utility and personal hygiene assistance to those in need;
• provide for mammograms for underinsured women ensuring early detection of breast cancer.
For more information, contact the United Way of Sampson County at 910-592-4263 or visit www.unitedwaysampson.org. The application is available online by visiting www.unitedwaysampson.org and visiting the Agency Resources tab.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.