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United Way gives $20K to 12 groups

The United Way of Prince Edward County will distribute $20,000 to 12 local organizations dealing with fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The United Way has 23-partner organizations, but with many of them shut down, the decision was made to trim its second yearly round of donations to community organizations most active in aiding the community’s response to the virus.

The allocation will leave the United Way with about $100 in the bank and mean that approximately 90% of the funds raised this year were distributed to the local nonprofits, Rucker Snead, the group’s president, said during a Monday, June 15, Zoom tele-meeting.

The partners were surveyed and many of them volunteered to forgo an allocation so that, as Snead noted in the email to them, the United Way can, “allocate our limited funds to our partners who are having the greatest impact in our community dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.”

The checks will soon be mailed out to the 12 organizations, and the United Way is forgoing its usual luncheon and check presentation to the partners.

Made up of an all-volunteer local board, the United Way’s goal was to raise $65,000 for the year, but, Snead noted, “We are not there. We will not get there.”

Instead, it looks like fundraising will peak at just over $57,000, he said. But, he added, “All in all, not a bad year considering all we had to deal with.”

In late May, the United Way announced this year’s Great Farmville Duck Derby has officially been canceled, joining a lengthy and growing list of local activities and events that are causalities of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The board decided in late March to postpone the derby when it was announced that the 2020 Heart of Virginia Festival, with which it was to be held in conjunction, had been canceled. At the time, it was hoped that the derby could still be held later this year, but board members said they had to face reality. The United Way’s signature fundraiser will resume next year, and many of the backers and sponsors have already agreed to just roll over their support, Snead said.

Earlier this year, the United Way of Prince Edward County gave out almost $30,000 to its partners.

In recent years, the United Way gives approximately 95 percent of the funds it raises to its partners, and has traditionally given at least 90 percent, board members noted.

As Snead said at the January meeting, “Our mission hasn’t changed – it’s to raise money and put it back out.”