United Way seeks to raise $3.5 million

Matthew Lane • Sep 13, 2018 at 12:07 PM

KINGSPORT – Sixty-four percent. That’s the amount of money the United Way of Greater Kingsport has already raised this summer towards its annual fundraising goal.

Now, it’s up the community to raise the remaining 36 percent between now and the end of the year.

The UWGK kicked off its annual fundraising campaign Wednesday morning at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce before a small crowd of volunteers and supporters. The theme of this year’s campaign — “United we fight. United we win.”

This year’s fundraising goal is $3.5 million.

“We’ve got an aggressive goal this year, so we need everybody in the community to come together,” said Keith Parker, the United Way 2018 campaign chair. “It’s a goal we believe is required to help support our agencies and programs through the United Way so they can fight the challenges we have and we can win them in the future.”

The United Way’s annual fundraising campaign runs from mid-August through late November, starting off with the pacesetter campaign, then with the public campaign. Pacesetters are companies and organizations that run workplace campaigns prior to the kickoff of the public campaign.

So far, the 17 pacesetters have raised more than $2.2 million.

The UWGK supports 43 programs through 31 agencies, such as the Boys Scouts of America, the Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc., Hope House, the Literacy Council and Meals on Wheels. Programs supported fall in four focus areas: helping children and youth succeed, promoting self-sufficiency, ensuring safety and stability and supporting aging with choices.

Through these agencies and initiatives, the UWGK improves the lives of more than 1,400 locals every day, by tackling early grade literacy, breaking the cycle of poverty, confronting access to effective healthcare, supporting the needs of our senior citizens, and battling the opioid addiction in our region.

“Our mission is to better the lives for our community,” said Andy Wampler, chair of the United Way 2018 board.

Contributions can be made by mailing a check to UWGK, 301 Louis St., Suite 201, Kingsport, TN 37660. Easy to give online options are also available at www.uwaykpt.org/give. For more information, call (423) 378-3409, ext. 14.