Currently studying criminal justice at Chattahoochee Technical College, the single mother of four children 12 and younger plans to land a career in law enforcement and obtain a home for her family in the near future. The Mauldin family is one of three partaking in the nonprofit’s transitional housing initiative, which requires one member of each household to work at least 20 hours and attend school for a minimum of nine hours each week to qualify.
“It is harder because I have to work and take care of the four little ones, but it’s going to be worth it, I think, [in the end],” Mauldin told attendees at United Way of Bartow County’s 2014 Annual Meeting on Tuesday. “... Being in the transitional housing program has [made it possible] for me to go to school and not have to worry about working as much as I [would have had to] to pay bills because [the Good Neighbor] helps me. ... [In five years, I want to] have a really good job, not have to struggle [and] hopefully have my own house.”
Mauldin’s success story was highlighted during the United Way gathering, which celebrated the nonprofit’s Give Where You Live campaign surpassing its $510,000 goal. Officially ending Nov. 30, 2013, the drive secured $537,988 by primarily generating funds through payroll deductions, which enables employees to donate a minimal amount yearlong, with a portion of their paycheck designated to the United Way.
“Our Give Where You Live campaign for 2014 was very successful,” said Brenda Morehouse, president of the local United Way. “United Way continued to grow with donations. Because of the guidance of the board of directors, the work of our campaign chair and committee, along with the amazing people of this community, we were able to exceed our goal.
“... Our biggest supporters [are] Shaw Industries, Anheuser-Busch, Publix, Toyo Tire and Georgia Power. These companies give a tremendous amount through corporate donations and also encourage their employees to give through payroll deduction. Although it’s too many to mention, United Way also wants to thank all the retailers, small businesses and individual donors for their participation in United Way. They also play a huge role in the success of our campaign each year.”
Funds raised through the drive will be dispersed, based on need, to United Way’s 16 agencies: AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia, 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, New Beginnings Food Outreach, The Salvation Army, Good Shepherd Foundation, Bartow Area Habitat for Humanity, Hickory Log Vocational School, North Bartow Community Services, Bartow Health Access, Girl Scouts Division of Bartow County and Advocates for Children. Combined, the nonprofits serve more than 60,000 people each year.
Along with celebrating the success of the Give Where You Live campaign, United Way supporters also looked toward the future.
“We are here to talk about the past year, to recognize the achievements, really recognize some of you guys for what you’ve done to help make our community better,” said Kyle Harding, chairman of United Way of Bartow County’s 2014 executive committee. “I will tell you as incoming chairman, I’m more excited about 2014 as a year than I have been about any year in the past.
“I think that it’s going to be a great year for Bartow County and I think it’s going to be a great year for the United Way and there’s three reasons — ... great agencies, great board and the third one is not even ours to control, but it’s an improving economy and a growing county.”
During the meeting, various individuals and partner agencies also were highlighted for their contributions to the local United Way. In addition to John and Diana Cremers receiving the Matthew D. Hill Volunteer of the Year Award, United Way Campaign Chairman Fred Kittle and Barry Brown were recognized for their commitment to community service. This year, the Pinnacle Award was presented to numerous United Way agencies, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Christian League for Battered Women, Advocates for Children, AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia, Bartow Area Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross and Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter.