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We always stand United

October 15, 2011
By Ben Simmons - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

For more than 45 years, the United Way of Randolph County has served as the central focal point for fundraising activities for several local organizations. The nonprofit group recently kicked off a new campaign with a goal of raising $160,000 by February to provide for the betterment of the community and its residents.

Andrea Thompson, executive director for the United Way of Randolph County, said the group's mission is to unite local organizations and individuals in an effort to make the community a better place to live. She said the United Way helps raise funds for 28 local organizations.

"Many residents may never have to use any of these services, but honestly everyone probably knows somebody that has had to utilize one of these agencies that we help fund," Thompson said. "These agencies don't just serve the needs of one group of people, they run the gamut and serve all different types of people in Randolph County."

Article Photos

Photo courtesy Andrea Thompson
Elkins Sewing Center owner Sue Pifer, left and Donna Rozich stand with a sewing machine and quilt that have been donated to help the United Way reach their campaign goal.

Gary Clay, campaign chairman for the United Way of Randolph County, said the organization is comprised of several volunteers and corporate sponsors. He said 100 percent of the funds raised are invested back into the community and help improve the lives of thousands of residents.

"The donations are very important to the agencies," Clay said. "We make sure that when they are budgeting that they have a specific program, and that program has to be something that clearly makes a difference in the community. The money is critical. Those programs would not be there if the folks in the community didn't support and provide the money to do those things. The services would be reduced greatly."

Clay said the best way for individuals to get involved is through the workplace donation campaign. Many employers have agreed to participate in the program that allows individuals to give a small contribution to the organization each pay period. Aside from financial contributions, Clay said people also can get involved by donating time and advocating for the organization.

Throughout the year, several events and activities are scheduled to help work toward the goal of raising $160,000. Clay said the campaign has already generated approximately $52,000 thanks to leadership contributions from Armstrong World Industries, $15,000; Mega Corp, $5,000; and the Post House, $1,000.

On Nov. 5, local Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will pick up cans of food and other non-perishable food items in Elkins and the surrounding community. The food collected will be distributed throughout the Tygart Valley communities to replenish food pantries and soup kitchens for the homeless and other residents less fortunate. The event is sponsored by the Elkins First United Methodist Church, Woodford Memorial United Methodist Church, Randolph County United Way volunteers, United Parcel Service employees and students from Davis & Elkins College.

Participating residents are asked to place food bags on their porch for pickup by 9 a.m. Non-perishables also can be delivered to the Good Shepherd building, 105 First St. in Elkins, or Tyrand Cooperative Ministries on the back road in Mill Creek, during normal business hours.

On Nov. 18, students attending Randolph County schools will join hands and show their appreciation for the United Way of Randolph County as they participate in a "Day of Action" across the county.

The community is invited to join Christian musician John Angotti at 2 p.m. Dec. 4 for an inspirational holiday concert at Elkins High School.

The campaign wraps up with a telethon fundraiser on Feb. 18. The event is scheduled to take place at Beverly Elementary School and will be televised on the local access channel in Elkins.

Anyone interested in helping may mail a contribution to: United Way of Randolph County, P.O. Box 1085, Elkins, WV 26241. For more information, call 304-636-0516 or visit the website:



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