United Way funds raised, spent locally

Published 4:46 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The United Way of Prince Edward County would like to remind everyone that its funds are raised and spent locally. Period. That’s it!

According to a recent press release, “We don’t give our money to the national (organization),” said Bruce Davis, a board member. “The money we raise stays local.”

The release went on to say, “That observation – or maybe declaration – is a refrain board members fear they are having a hard time establishing in the community.

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Indeed, not only are all of the Prince Edward United Way’s monies raised and spent locally, but the group doesn’t even receive funds from the national organization.”

“They don’t give us anything monetarily,” Board Member Rhonda Arnold noted. “We don’t get any (financial) support from them.

“Supporting the United Way of Prince Edward County is a means of making even a small contribution have widespread community impact. Most of our partners utilize a large number of volunteers to complete their missions.”

Added President Rucker Snead, “It all comes from money raised right here. We get some (grant) money nationally, but for the most part it’s all money raised right here.”

Of note this is an all-volunteer board trying to raise $60,000 for this fiscal year, and as much as 95 percent of what is raised will be shared between 22 local nonprofits.

In late January, the board, having raised a little more than $48,000, gave out $45,000 to its 22 partners — the most the group has been able to give out at one time in years, Snead said at the time.

Locally, United Way funds have gone toward everything from putting a roof on a community building, to helping community group’s keep their lights on, to providing meals. The fact they have been able to help with so much has made the group reluctant to specify where and what its monies can go toward.

“We’re serving folks with a wide variety of needs,” Snead said. “We’re certainly meeting some far-reaching needs. We are helping some folks in our community.”

Earlier this month, Juanita M. Giles, executive director of Virginia Children’s Book Festival, contacted the United Way via email to say “Your gift has already made an impact.”

“Your kindness supports our fifth anniversary festival and helps us reach more children than ever before,” she said.

“Your generosity enables us to look beyond the challenges of our rural area and put our full effort and heart into creating lifelong readers in Southside and all of Virginia, the population we serve together. We are deeply humbled and privileged to be part of a larger movement in Southside — the community that is in the center of our mission.

“Our current and future success of providing inspiration and opportunity is made possible only by the continued generosity of our community.

In the coming year, Giles said, the festival plans to launch more outreach, as well as provide programming for adults interested in becoming children’s authors.

Meanwhile, Kerry Mossler said she wishes more local businesses would follow the lead of her employer, Centra Southside Community Hospital, and do paycheck deductions. Centra has been a major financial supporter of the United Way.

“That raises a lot,” she said.

The United Way is gearing up for its signature fundraising event – the second annual the Great Farmville Duck Derby, to be held Saturday, May 3, at Riverside Park in conjunction with the Heart of Virginia Festival. All proceeds will benefit the United Way’s partners.

Plans call for 2,000 plastic ducks to be sold and raced down the Appomattox River.

Same as last year, owner of the first place duck will receive $1,000; the second-place duck, $500; and the third-place duck, $250.

Ticket sales kicked off Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Fishin’ Pig restaurant.

For additional information or to sponsor the event contact Davis via email at bruce.davis@pecps.k12.va.us, call (434) 315-2100 ext. 3833, or (804) 986-2034.