DAPHNE – The efforts of United Way donors helped Baldwin County nonprofit service agencies deal with challenges ranging from hurricanes to COVID-19 and now that support is needed again, …
DAPHNE – The efforts of United Way donors helped Baldwin County nonprofit service agencies deal with challenges ranging from hurricanes to COVID-19 and now that support is needed again, supporters said.
United Way of Baldwin County kicked off its 2021 fundraising campaign on Thursday, Sept. 2 at the Daphne Civic Center.
Marina Simpson, executive director of United Way of Baldwin County, said the last year was challenging residents of Baldwin County.
“We’ve all had to make changes,” Simpson said. “But while many things have changed, one thing that has not changed and will not change is United Way of Baldwin County’s commitment to serving the community. Whether it be after a storm, through a pandemic or the challenges of daily life, we could not do what we do for our community without donors like you.
Clair Dorough, campaign chairwoman, said that even during the setbacks of the last year, donors gave more than $1.17 million to United Way. She said United Way of Baldwin County supports 31 non-profit health and human service agencies serving local residents.
She said all donations made in Baldwin County, remain in Baldwin County.
Dorough said that since she became involved with United Way she has seen how much the agencies help residents with challenges throughout the year, not just during disasters.
“My perspective on life has altered drastically, especially during my first agency review, which is a time when each non-profit organization that United Way supports has a chance to come meet with the board and explain the need and share the impact in the community, whether it’s things like basic needs of food, clothing or shelter, assistance for victims of abuse, alcohol and drug recovery programs, education and enrichment of our youth and even something as simple, yet so significant as sending children home from school with backpacks of food to make sure they have something to eat over the weekend,” she said.
During the campaign kickoff, United Way recognized some of the leading supporters and agencies from the last year.
The Top Campaign Award went to Publix. Dorough said the company is the world’s largest donor to United Way. In Baldwin County, company employees donated $338 in their first year of pledges 2008. Since then, they have pledged more than $220,000.
“They are a shining example of what it means to be a community partner and truly live united,” she said.
The Top School Campaign Award went to Foley High School, which has led the school system in pledges for the last several years, Dorough said.
The awards for leading companies went to the Baldwin County Board of Education, Baldwin EMC, Collins Aerospace in Foley and Gulf Packaging in Bay Minette. Employees of the four companies pledged a total of more than $125,000 to the United Way of Baldwin County, Dorough said.
“We appreciate the partnership and dedication that they have shown United Way throughout the years,” she said.
The Outstanding Community Service Award went to the Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency.
“They have served Baldwin County tirelessly over the last year, helping our community navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and then through an intense hurricane season,” Dorough said.