Last updated: April 07. 2014 10:57AM - 528 Views
By Lauren Williams Staff Writer

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Sampson County’s United Way board has made its allocation decisions for 2014 and members said they are pleased to report that 11 local agencies will receive funding this year.

“United Way is always excited to welcome funding opportunities with partner agencies in order that we may better serve our community,” said Sherrill Allen, local United Way president. “Over the past three years our board has worked hard to work within United Way guidelines and community needs to develop an effective, efficient and compliant application process.”

“This process is driven by an outcome based application in order that we may more effectively determine our funding impact in our community,” he explained. “Through this process our guidelines and audit policies are clearly defined in order that the applicant can clearly understand our requirements.”

Allen pointed out that “as an extra measure to ensure applicants have a clear understanding of the application process” Sampson’s United Way holds an application workshop every fall during the month of October where those interested in applying for United Way funds can learn more about the application process and how to best fashion their application before submitting it.

This year, a total of 13 applications were submitted from organizations seeking funding, all of which were “closely reviewed to ensure they comply to our audit policy which is explained in the application process. This review also determines if the applicant is in good financial condition and well managed,” said Allen.

“If the agency does not comply with our guidelines we cannot guarantee funding. In cases where agencies are not funded in an application cycle, we always encourage them to reapply the following year and strive to help them with any questions they may have regarding their application,” he continued. “We take our stewardship of community funds very seriously throughout the application, interview, audit and funding process in order to ensure positive outcomes.”

Now that decisions have been made by the United Way Board of Directors, the 11 agencies that will receive funding this year are the local Health Department’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program; the Clinton Area Foundation for Education (C.A.F.E.); Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; the Fitness Renaissance Program; the Girl Scouts of North Carolina Coastal Pines; the Sampson Crisis Center; the Sampson County 4-H; the Sampson County Fireman’s Association; Sampson County Friends of Education; the Tuscarora Council Boy Scouts of America; and the local Department of Aging’s Wheelchair Ramp Program.

“Through these agencies we touch almost everyone in Sampson County,” said Nancy Carr, executive director of Sampson’s United Way, listing children, adults, and the elderly as populations helped by at least one of this year’s 11 agencies. “We also fund a lot that helps with health care, education, and income stability.”

In addition to funding these agencies, United Way is also the sole supporter of the 211 call center.

“It’s a 24-7, 365 day a year call center where people who call will speak with a live, trained person who can assist them and help them identify agencies and programs right here in Sampson County that may can help them,” described Carr previously, adding that bilingual operators are available. “Most calls take less than five minutes.”

Making this far-reaching, positive impact possible is the community itself, giving to help its own.

“We’re so excited by the generosity of the residents in Sampson. We’re appreciate all the community support,” shared Carr, calling the recent 2013 United Way campaign “one of the best campaigns we’ve had in five years.”

“It went very well, was very positive. We brought in just below $170,000,” she noted. “It provides the agencies with the finding they need and the agencies use the funds to help meet the needs of the community and improve the quality of Sampson County.”

In addition to the many individuals and businesses that contributed to United Way last year, the local organization’s two big fundraisers of 2013 — the “Outstanding in Our Fields” dinner and the “Dine Out for United Way” event — also helped make the recent campaign one of the best ever.

“They really helped make to campaign successful and helped increase our visibility in the community,” said Carr. “Because the “Outstanding in Our Fields” event was so well received by the community, we’re planning to do another one in the fall of this year.”

Although the local United Way just made this year’s funding allocations, Carr stressed that it’s not too early for organizations, especially those new to seeking United Way funds, to start thinking about their applications for next year.

“We’re always looking for new agencies, or agencies that have been around but never applied before,” she said. “We’re always looking for new ways to better serve the community.”

Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at lwilliams@civitasmedia.com.

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