The United Way of Henry County and Martinsville has raised more than half of its $500,000 fundraising goal.
With more than 80 years of serving locally, the United Way of Henry County and Martinsville has evolved along with Martinsville and Henry County. One thing has remained constant and is needed now more than ever, the United Way’s ability to mobilize for the common good to help the most at-risk members of our community and strengthen the capacity of local nonprofits to meet the needs of its most vulnerable citizens.
To help meet these needs, Karen Burgess, 2020-2021 Campaign Chairman for the United Way, announced a goal of $500,000 for the year.
Contributing to the United Way is incredibly important this year as there are unprecedented needs in the community. COVID-19 and the associated economic downturn have erased the economic progress made by countless families in the community. These families now depend on the numerous organizations supported by the United Way to address their pressing needs. The needs run the full gamut of services provided by United Way partner organizations, including services that address hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, substance abuse counseling, and childcare to name a few. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, is incredibly important as we work together to help those in need in our community.
The agency officially kicked off its annual fundraising campaign on September 8, with a social distancing twist.
The Leadership Circle, chaired by Paul and Annette Huckfeldt, is a group of dedicated United Way donors that all pledge at least $600 to the annual United Way campaign. In a typical year, the United Way has more than 180 donors in the Leadership Circle and with the Huckfeldt’s leadership, this year’s campaign is off to a fantastic start.
To date, Leadership Circle donors, along with area company campaigns, have already raised $281,955 or 56 percent of the $500,000 goal. Companies already reporting campaign results are American National Bank, Bassett Furniture Industries, Boxley Companies, Carter Bank & Trust, Eastman Chemical, and Hooker Furniture Corporation.
“The annual campaign is an inspiring representation of the caring power in our community,” Burgess said. “In unprecedented times of isolation and challenges, the work being done by the United Way and other agencies throughout Martinsville and Henry County is made possible thanks to donors and volunteers like you. Your commitment and generosity brings us together even when we’re apart and enables the community to continue meeting needs in education, financial stability, and healthy living, which the community has identified as the building blocks for a good quality of life.”
Day of Action is United Way’s signature event, historically offering opportunities for nearly 150 volunteers to go out on one day to complete numerous community projects as well as several sponsored drives to collect needed items for local nonprofits. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the safety of United Way staff, volunteers, donors, and organizations, this year’s Day of Action shifted to a “Sponsor Drive Only” structure.
Donations for the 2020 Day of Action supported drives for 11 different agencies and provided many essential items. Among these drives included collecting drinking water for Dan River Basin Association river clean-up volunteers, and senior meal support for the Southern Area Agency on Aging.
Donations also included items for parent support kits for Healthy Families, West Piedmont such as diapers, wipes, and grooming kits. Books were collected for Smart Beginnings Martinsville Henry. Other drives included support for our troops, transitional housing support, and personal hygiene products. Tracy Hinchcliff, director of Grace Network, was overjoyed to report the Southwestern Virginia Gas Company and Midway Bottled Company employees delivered more than 400 donated personal hygiene items, items that Grace Network often find they are lacking. These donations came at a much-needed time as our nonprofits work to support the community through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Philip Wenkstern, Executive Director of the United Way of Henry County and Martinsville, said, “While we certainly missed getting together for in-person volunteer projects this year, we could not be prouder of the way the community stepped up to participate in sponsor drives to support our local agencies. It is a remarkable example of the caring power of the community. The United Way is a volunteer-led and volunteer-driven organization, seeing the adaptability and strength of this year’s Day of Action really highlights that mindset. Every United Way success is a product of our community, it is your service, your contributions, and your advocacy that are paving the way for positive change.”
The United Way of Henry County and Martinsville works to mobilize for the common good. It aims to improve the financial stability of families, increase access to early childhood education and development, and works to advance the overall health of the community. Nearly 99 percent of every dollar donated to the United Way of Henry County and Martinsville remains in the area and supports more than 20 local nonprofit organizations.
Anyone who would like more information about the United Way or how to donate to the campaign, is encouraged to visit www.unitedwayofhcm.org, or contact the United Way staff at 638-3946. Donations can also be mailed to the United Way at P.O. Box 951, Martinsville, VA 24114.