Living and Working United
United Way starts the helping process.
Employees of companies around Laurens County soon will begin to hear familiar words - the United Way Campaign and Live United.
Depending on how they respond, 17 member agencies administering 23 programs will rise and fall on the amount of money generously given by this workforce. Individuals “Give United,” too; but it’s these workplace campaigns that are the life-blood of an organization that has an impact on thousands of lives in Laurens County.
“United Way is imperative to the people of the community,” said UWLC Board Chairman Justin Benefield, to the audience at Thursday’s kick-off lunch at Presbyterian College. Three people who run UWLC-member agencies - Allen Lawson, Dawn Ardelt and Melvin Bailey - provided updates on what United Way funding means to the people they help. Ardelt gave a chilling recounting of a person her agency - the Laurens County Safe Home - sees every day.
That person, Ardelt described, lives in the shadow of domestic abuse.
Benfield said, “United Way touches many lives. But it is not possible without your helping hands.”
The agency presented its major award - the C. Bailey Dixon Volunteerism & Philanthropy Award - to former UWLC Board Chairman, the Rev. Dr. Jeri Perkins, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Clinton. “She truly has a servant’s heart,” her award presenter, Sharon O’Bryant, said, “and she always gives us the best advice.”
The exceptional campaigns of last year were: Sterilite, highest campaign of the year; Shaw Industries, second highest; Asten Johnson, third highest; Technor Apex, highest increase in amount; Laurens County Water & Sewer Commission, highest increase in employees giving; and the Memorial Home for the Aged, highest agency campaign of the year.
As part of the program, a representative of each member-agency lit a candle in honor or memory of a client or group benefiting from that organization’s work.
Presenting Sponsors for the United Way of Laurens County 2019 Campaign Kickoff are LEC (Laurens Electric Cooperative, Inc.), CNNGA (Clinton-Newberry Natural Gas Authority), Prisma Health, Presbyterian College, Shaw Industries, and PRTC. The Corporate Sponsors are the City of Clinton and the City of Laurens.
Alesia Carter is the UWLC executive director, and Aryele Redmond is the resource development manager.
(Learn more about education, health, financial stability and emergency relief programs at: www.uwlc-online.org and find them on Facebook.)