LAURINBURG — While it defines a “fair share” as one percent of yearly earnings, United Way of Scotland County can make any donation go a long way — toward youth programs, senior games, animal welfare, and everything in between.
The organization, which raises money for the benefit of 19 nonprofit agencies in Scotland County, has reached the halfway point in achieving its goal of raising $260,000 to allocate to charities in 2016.
“The more we can do for these agencies, the more they can do their job and not have to worry so much about fundraising,” said United Way Executive Director Debbie Grant.
Scotland County’s United Way chapter was first organized as the United Way of Caring in 1953, collecting $17,678 that year. The organization’s fundraising apex came in 1998 with a total of $586,979 raised.
“I think one of the beautiful things about Scotland County and one of the things that has kept us here is that everybody here comes together and they support their own and believe in giving back,” said Amanda Dixon, co-chair of the current fundraising campaign.
“United Way is one of those organizations that can bring everybody together. Everything that comes to United Way goes to our own: it it stays here in the county and supports the organizations here.”
United Way of Scotland County benefits the following agencies, with 90 percent of funds raised distributed to nonprofits based on their demonstrated need: American Red Cross of Scotland County, Cape Fear Council of Boy Scouts of America, Church Community Services, Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center of Scotland County, Friends of Scotland Enterprises, Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines, Habitat for Humanity of Scotland County, In As Much, Scotland Community Health Clinic, Scotland County Firefighter’s Association, Scotland County 4-H, Scotland County Humane Society, Scotland County Literacy Council, Scotland County NAACP ACT-SO Youth Council, Scotland County Safety Town, Scotland County Senior Games, Scotland County Special Olympics, Scotland Family Counseling Center, and Scots for Youth.
“The money and the donations are fantastic, but it’s also great for awareness about what’s going on in the community,” said campaign co-chair and longtime Special Olympics coordinator Carol Nichols.
Every September, United Way brings hundreds together for its annual Day of Caring, taking work requests from its various agencies and dispatching volunteers to pitch in with major projects for a day. United Way’s first “womanless pageant” fundraiser in February also drew in a sizable captive audience.
“We know the community is more than willing to support the programs that United Way assists with each year so we expect to be able to finish out the campaign with a big push,” said United Way President Kevin Patterson, who as Scotland County’s manager has firsthand knowledge of the various gaps the organization helps to fill each year.
For information or to donate, contact Debbie Grant at 910-276-6064 or mail to P.O. Box 742, Laurinburg, NC 28352.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.