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United Way of Kershaw County nears campaign deadline

Adds three partner agencies

Posted: December 22, 2016 5:17 p.m.
Updated: December 23, 2016 1:00 a.m.

The United Way of Kershaw County (UWKC) is working towards reaching its campaign goal of $800,000 by the beginning of next year.    

“Our goal is 11 percent more than we did last year. We really want to get there.” UWKC President Donny Supplee said about this year’s goal.  

The money raised during campaign will go towards supporting the 20 UWKC partner agencies in Kershaw County.

Supplee emphasized that UWKC partner agencies serve the local community. 

“One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is that people think the United Way is ‘somewhere out there,’ not local. We give one percent (of funds) to national and 99 percent stays in Kershaw County. Most people don’t know that. When they hear ‘United Way’ they think of the NFL advertisements instead of the local agencies that make a difference here.”

This year’s increased campaign goal is due to three new additional partner agencies as well as a cut in funding from the US Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD).  

Partner agencies provide social services to Kershaw County residents and receive funding from the UWKC.  The agency’s service must address one or more of the core UWKC targets: education, health and hunger, financial stability or homelessness. 

“Being a partner agency means the agency receives funding … the Care Council has looked at their application and interviewed them to find out what difference they are making in Kershaw County … We are trying to have more focus on what we fund, and how much we fund. All of those decisions are made by our local board, people who live and work here,” Supplee said. 

The three new agencies receiving funding from UWKC are KARE (Kershaw Area Resource Exchange), Midlands Women Center and the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands.

“We are concerned about what they do here. For instance with Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands, they are based out of Columbia but they started working in our Kershaw County schools, then they started the Jackson Teen Center,” Supplee said,

 “The Boys and Girls Club … also has other after school programs throughout the county. So we are giving them the money for them to use the best they can inside of Kershaw County. This means more kids can be served because some kids can’t afford to pay for the afterschool care. It supplements what they are able to do in the community without having to say you’ve got to pay this amount for your child to come.” 

KARE services the northern part of Kershaw County and provides financial assistance as well as assistance with food and clothing.

“KARE is similar to Christian community ministries. They help with food, utility bills, rent and they have a clothes closet,” Supplee said.

The Midlands Women’s Center provides services to pregnant women.

Collaboration is an important aspect of partner agencies. 

“You can’t just be an island, trying to do good and not being a partner with agencies trying to do that same goal. So it’s really important we work together.”

For more information about the UWKC and on how to contribute, call 803-432-0951.


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