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5 Questions with...

Donny Supplee, United Way of Kershaw County

Posted: August 26, 2011 4:13 p.m.
Updated: August 29, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Q: How much of an impact has the United Way had on the community?

A: I think it has been a pretty good one. We’ve seen changes over the years from not having a medical clinic to having a medical clinic now for the last 10 years. When I first started back in 1992, teen pregnancy was a real issue, but we’ve made some real strides with that. The need for serving the homeless and the hungry in our community was seen and some large and small donations came in and we were able to open Food for the Soul. Five years ago we opened New Day on Mill, which is a transitional shelter for women and families. I would say the impact has been pretty strong.     

Q: How did you get involved in the United Way?

A: Prior to working here, I worked at Babcock Center in Columbia. It serves people with mental disabilities, very similar to the Board of Disabilities here. My position there was funded by United Way, so I became aware of what United Way did and the agencies they fund.

Q:  What’s the most difficult part of running a non-profit organization?

A: Probably with any non-profit organization, the biggest challenge is raising funds in the midst of providing service. The great thing about that is that it keeps you very linked to the community and so I have a relationship with business and industry as well as a relationship with social service agencies.  

Q:  What’s the best thing about Kershaw County?

A: I’d say the volunteer pool. We have some amazing volunteers who make a huge difference in our community.

Q:  Who is someone who inspires you?

A: It would probably have to be Rudy Kohn. He was our board president a few years ago. He was an admiral in the Navy and yet I saw his volunteer service to our community over the last years of his life and that made an incredible impact on me. I knew he had such a background of leadership, of management, of being in charge of folks and then he was willing to take that skill and, as a volunteer for Christian Community Ministries, take applications from people who were needy. He was just a great example of turning a life of service to our country into a life of service to our community. 

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