Local businesses and school systems play a vital role each year in kicking off the Sampson County United Way campaign. Known as pacesetters, these companies kick start each year’s campaign with a yearly committed donation.
This year, employees with Clinton City Schools, Sampson County Schools and Smithfield-Farmland once again stepped up to the challenge and contributed thousands of dollars to get the 2017 campaign off to a good start towards this year’s $175,000 goal.
To date, the local United Way chapter has met 75 percent of this year’s goal.
Added together, the three top pacesetters have contributed nearly $100,000 to begin the 2017 campaign. Smithfield-Farmland presented a check to the local United Way Chapter for $72,307 and Clinton City Schools employees contributed $10,745.
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.
Now in it’s 26th year, the United Way of Sampson County has raised more than $3.5 million dollars that has in turn been distributed among more than 22 different local agencies.
“All of the money that is raised in Sampson County stays here to improve the quality of life for residents living in our county,” Carr said.
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.
“That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Carr attested. “We are very proud of the fact that all of our money stays right here in Sampson County. Other United Way agencies can’t say that.”
This year’s partner agencies 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 many of these agencies, the money received through United Way is the only source of funding for the 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.”
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.
United Way will be hosting one of its annual fundraising events next Friday, Dec. 8, where restaurant patrons will have a chance to give back through “Dine Out for United Way,” and eating at one of the six participating restaurants. This year’s participants are Zeng’s Chinese Palace, Alfredo’s Ristorante Italiano, Mi Finca, Ribeyes, Vinny’s and Southern Smoke. A portion of proceeds from lunch and dinner will be given to the local United Way chapter.
The United Way board is currently accepting applications for the 2018 funding cycle. Applicants must be a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. The applications are due by Jan. 8, 2018.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.