EDITORIAL: Consider, The United Way

 

EDITORIAL: Consider, The United Way 

 

Your continued support of United Way of Laurens County truly is a shining example of a community helping itself. The member agencies, UW board members, staff and friends, and donor businesses celebrated that helpfulness Aug. 29 at Presbyterian College.

Three agency directors outlined their UWLC-supported programs:

Allen Lawson, SC Empowerment Center - United Way funds two of their programs, “our feeding program and our job development program, we have served 5,400 pounds of food and we have 100% success since 2006 in kids getting jobs; 98% get and keep jobs, and 2% want a vacation so they go to college. Everyone thinks maybe a dollar don’t help out; but when we pull up in our apartment complex with boxes of food, those dollars mean a lot. We build our kids up til they get that first entry level job, then they say, ‘I want to be manager.’ Every dollar helps these kids, even if you don’t know them or have never met them, every dollar helps.” 

Dawn Ardelt, SAFE Home - The agency’s in- and out-of-shelter programs are made possible by the United Way. For SAFE Home clients, “when their relationship is over, their need is not over. Last year, we responded to over 1,700 crisis calls, and each caller had a different need. They needed legal advocates, and now some work with our out-of-shelter program.”  

She told the harrowing tale of a single mother of four -- “in the back of your mind (his) protectiveness is not feeling right” -- who contacted the SAFE Home for help in beginning her journey away from a dangerous relationship. Ardelt said they were able to help, but there was more. “We rely on our partner agencies - the YMCA for scholarships and recreation, food banks, and abuse counseling for the children. So, on behalf of all of our clients, thank you for your support of the SAFE Home home and all our partner agencies. We are a better community because of it.”      

Melvin Bailey, United Ministries -- The agency’s work dates from 2001 when Clinton Mill closed and 1,000 people lost their jobs. Five to six citizens and three to four churches combined their efforts and, in 2002, they were able to help Clinton residents with power bills. “We applied for FEMA funds and United Way funding so we could go countywide.” 

In addition to a mission statement, the agency adopted a religious statement, Isaiah 58:10. Bailey said, “I worked at Torrington for 41 years, going back and forth to work every day, and once I retired I saw that hunger is real, poverty is real. In 2018, our utility fund paid $79,000 on behalf of clients back to utility companies. We spend $16,000 on the food bank and $17,000 on the snack pack program. We helped 8,400 families in Laurens County, with two part-time staff people and 33 volunteers every week. We help seniors 60 and over every month. We packed 146 snack packs today; that’s for 150 District 56 students who get food from us every Friday - they were going hungry on the weekends. Thank you for supporting the United Way because the need is big in Laurens County. Thanks to the UW for all their support.”

If you haven’t already, soon you will hear a workplace appeal from the United Way. If your work does not participate, you can donate directly through their website. All we ask is this - prayerfully consider making a donation or a pledge; any amount counts. Every cent is put to good use.

My Clinton News

P.O. Box 180
513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902

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