United Way’s annual meeting celebrates successful fundraising campaign

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Highlighting the success of its United We Fight, United We Win campaign, the United Way of Bartow County celebrated with its supporters and partner agencies Thursday.

Speaking at the nonprofit’s 2019 Annual Meeting, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter Executive Director Jessica Mitcham shared how United Way’s nonprofits continue to impact the community.

“Today there are 128 people in Bartow County that have a roof over their heads because of the United Way partner agencies” Mitcham told the crowd at the Cartersville Civic Center. “… There are 22 men who are living at Hickory Log. There are 17 women and children who are living at Tranquility House. There are 12 kids today that are calling Flowering Branch home, and there are 30 adults and kids that are living in Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter. And there are 47 adults, including 32 kids, in [Good Neighbor’s] transitional housing program.

“All 128 of those would have nowhere else to turn if United Way agencies didn’t exist for them and if the United Way campaign didn’t raise dollars to make those programs possible,” she said, also noting the important work of other United Way agencies — Good Shepherd Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs Inc., Allatoona Resource Center, North Bartow Community Services and The Salvation Army. “… There are so many people in our community that rely on all these organizations.”

Kicked off Sept. 1, the United We Fight, United We Win drive secured $670,778, primarily acquiring funds through payroll deductions, which enables employees to donate a minimal amount yearlong, with a portion of their paycheck designated to the local United Way. Morehouse reported in late January the drive had surpassed its goal of $625,000.

Funds raised through the effort are dispersed, based on need, to United Way’s agencies, which include Allatoona Resource Center, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, Bartow County 4-H Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Bartow Civil Air Patrol, American Red Cross, Christian League for Battered Women, The Salvation Army, Good Shepherd Foundation, Hickory Log Vocational School, North Bartow Community Services, Tonsmeire Community Clinic, Boy Scouts' Bartow chapter and Advocates for Children.

Honored by the recognition, Greg Anderson captured the United Way of Bartow County's 2018 Matthew D. Hill Volunteer of the Year Award. A current United Way board member and former Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department director, Anderson retired from the city of Cartersville Jan. 31 after serving nearly 38 years. 

“I am very humbled by it, first of all,” Anderson said of the award. “There are many, many more board members that are more deserving than I am on this.

“United Way is such a great organization. I’m very humbled, because I knew Matthew.”

Other accolades presented during Thursday’s meeting were the Pinnacle Award — Toyo Tires; and the Commitment to Community Service Awards — Family Savings Credit Union, Kay House, Anheuser-Busch, Toyo Tires, Jay Slaughter with Century Bank of Georgia, Angela Thomas-Cooley with Etowah Area Consolidated Housing Authority, Jim Bishop with Allatoona Elementary School, Nichole Varnell with Allatoona Resource Center, Publix, Shaw Plant T1, Shaw Plant 1G, Shaw Plant 12, Shaw Plant 13, Shaw Plant 15, Shaw Plant 62 and Shaw Plant 94.

During the meeting, checks also were awarded to various community efforts, including the Community Emergency Response Team, $2,500; Bartow Literacy Council/The Bookmobile, $7,000; Bartow Education Foundation, $5,000; and Bartow Collaborative/Bartow Give a Kid a Chance, $2,500.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to show the total amount that was raised during the United We Fight, United We Win campaign.