By Amie Knowles, reprint from the Martinsville Bulletin
MARTINSVILLE (March 2, 2017) – The annual United Way campaign celebration honored so many people that staff at the Dutch Inn in Collinsville, where the luncheon occurred, had to set up an extra table to accommodate all of the guests. All total, more than 100 people attended the event.
“We just couldn’t be more happy that we have a packed house and overflow,” Martinsville-Henry County United Way Executive Director Kim Adkins said. “We appreciate all that you do to make our community better.”
In 2016, the local United Way chapter raised $700,689.33, which board chairwoman Monica Hatchett reported exceeded the year’s goal. The funds came from 3,200 donors.
Celebrating 80 years, the local chapter is still hard at work in the community.
“I know that I speak for all of us when I say that if it were not for the support of our loved ones, our families, our employers, we would not be here today to celebrate our campaign journey,” Hatchett said.
Calling United Way campaign “more than fundraisers,” the board chair likened the organization to “hand raisers.”
“We have created a sustainable infrastructure for everyone in our community to be hands-on to help our area’s caring powers fight for the health, education and financial stability of everyone in our community,” Hatchett said. “We pull up our shirt sleeves and go in and do what is necessary to help make residents of Martinsville-Henry County’s lives better.”
The three focuses Hatchett touched on are the foundations of United Way: education, financial stability and healthy living.
“We believe those are the building blocks of a good quality of life,” Adkins said. “We mobilize fundraisers to support programs that help advance those focus areas.”
Carolyn Shough, chairwoman of the community investment review panel, has already accepted grant proposals. Shough and the panel are currently in the vetting process prior to taking their recommendations to the board in mid-March.
“We closed the campaign on February 3 and are awarding grant funds one month later,” Hatchett said, praising the dedication and precision of Shough and the panel.
“There are so many people who played a role in the success we are celebrating today, from our campaign volunteers to those company campaign coordinators,” Hatchett said. “These are people who are often handed the job of coordinating the United Way campaign within their companies on top of the countless other things they have to do.”
The luncheon honored sponsors like bankers, furniture manufacturers, building supply companies and many others. Also, Hachett recognized United Way cabinet members.
Always more work to accomplish, Hatchett encouraged those at the luncheon.
“In my journey, I have learned that programs don’t change people – relationships do,” Hatchett said. “It is not United Way that impacts every life it touches. It is the people that represent United Way and people in the programs United Way supports.”
Hatchett challenged the community members present to “imagine the possibilities of supporting our United Way.”
Following Hatchett’s challenge, 2017 campaign chairman Dru Ingram invited the community to “join me in this 80th anniversary of United Way to do the extraordinary again of exceeding our goal.”
Pictured is Monica Hatchett.