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UWKC Industrial Luncheon kicks off 2016 fundraising

Posted: July 31, 2015 3:29 p.m.
Updated: August 3, 2015 1:00 a.m.
Tenell Felder/C-I

A number of United Way of Kershaw County (UWKC) and industry representatives gathered for the UWKC Communications Director Pam Spivey, Bruce Luek, UWKC intern Nancy Fanous, Uti representative Snapper Hall, Hengst employee Tracie Rice, Hengst employee Herman Robinson, UWKC President Donny Supplee, Target Distribution Center Representative Max Sutokskiy and Greg Brownell.

The United Way of Kershaw County geared up for its 2016 fundraising campaign with a luncheon at the historic Robert Mills Courthouse for representatives from industrial sites throughout the county. Each year, the UWKC uses campaign donations to serve those in need in Kershaw County through funding its now 18 partner agencies.  

UWKC President Donny Supplee said last year, three new partner agencies were added to the group: Habitat for Humanity of Kershaw County, Kershaw County First Steps and Goodwill Industries.  

“We care about people and we want them to know we care about them. If there is a gap in service we find a way to solve the problem,” Supplee said. “There are some things beyond what we can do, but we will do our best to find a way.”

Financial contributions from industrial site employees make up approximately 38 percent of the overall campaign total for the UWKC. 

“If you look at our united way we are very focused on social service … if you are going to be asking your employees to give, we want them to know what we do. If they have questions, we want them to be answered because this is their united way. We are also one of the few United Ways that asks people to come to us and we try to find a connection for them,” Supplee said. 

Hengst employee Herman Robinson spoke about how he had to seek help after becoming homeless and having to sleep in his truck. 

“You try to do things on your own and sometimes you make a mess. That’s what I did: make a mess, and I didn’t want anyone to know it. (But) I had a loving family at Hengst,” Robinson said.

Robinson went on to explain how his company helped to connect him with the UWKC in an effort to help him get back in his feet.

“That very next day I was on my way to where I am now,” Robinson said who moved into a UWKC’s men’s shelter on Thanksgiving Day.

During the luncheon, Target distribution center representative Max Sutokskiy spoke about his company’s involvement with the UWKC’s Day of Caring.   

“We ask our team members to consider donations and pledges so that we can do the things Donny was speaking about. On top of that, we also give team members an opportunity to volunteer,” Sutokskiy said.

The volunteer site was the non-profit Lil’ Angels Child Development Center in Camden where team members helped with painting and construction projects. 

 Sutokskiy encouraged other industrial sites to consider participating in the next Day of Caring Project, set for Sept. 11. Volunteers will go throughout Kershaw County to help with various projects. 

“You may ask what skills you need to have, but you don’t have to be an engineer or master plumber to go out and make a difference … it’s just about going and making a difference. There are a lot of opportunities throughout Kershaw County,” Sutokskiy said. “ 9/11 is a somber day, but they died serving our country. What’s a better way to remember than to go out into the community and volunteer?”

Hengst employee Tracie Rice spoke to luncheon attendees about the goal and focus of the industrial campaign. Rice encouraged employees to make a pledge. 

“Without that (money), we couldn’t do all the things Donny was talking about for this community … we should never be too busy for this cause -- it’s made a huge difference in my life to serve people and to help people,” Rice said.

Also during the luncheon, UWKC intern Nancy Fanous previewed videos from a social media campaign which will begin in the fall. The videos will each spotlight a different UWKC Partner agency.

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