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Letter: United Way of Kershaw County celebrating 65th anniversary
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This year, 2019, our United Way of Kershaw County is celebrating 65 years of meeting the needs of our community! Please join us in our celebration because truly, whether you give or receive services, our United Way is your United Way.  Our United Way of Kershaw County is incredibly blessed to be a part of this caring community! Our county has many challenges ahead but ultimately through working together we will continue to improve and thrive as a community. The county’s Vision 2030 (plan) is one indicator that we are a forward looking community ready, willing and engaged to make where we live, work, play and worship even better.

I believe it is important to keep community abreast of where we are financially, as finances significantly impact our ability to support programs throughout our community that change lives for good.  The short story is this,  2016 and 17 were banner years for our United Way, we grew the campaign by 10 percent each year and were able to add four new Partner Agencies and kick off a significant community program to feed the hungry in our community, the United Way Mobile Nutrition Center. Our recent fund raising campaigns have been more of a challenge and that the bottom line is raising less equates to less funding for local programs and services.

As we have talked with leadership from throughout the county, we have concluded that there is no single or simple answer. The Partner Agencies we fund, other local non-profits, churches and schools are facing these same challenges. Raising funds, even in a growing economy is a challenge for us all. One pastor shared that in a thriving economy giving is typically down. While there are many possible explanations for this, perhaps the most compelling is that when we personally prosper we don’t grasp the struggle that some in our community face.

As we travel through 2019 together, please remember that no matter how good it gets or how bad it may seem, we all have room to grow, to give, to volunteer and to better team players. At 65, our United Way is energized to be a part of making our community the best that it can be. We invite you, young, old or in between to live united with us!

Donny Supplee, president, United Way of Kershaw County