There is a definite need.
It was noted during the recent annual meeting of United Way of Chesterfield County that 58 individuals in the area have called in recent months, hoping to be eligible for any kind of financial assistance. Unfortunately, said Margaret Plettinger-Mitchell, director for the county’s United Way, these types of requests are a sign of incredibly hard times for a lot of people.
“That was 25 percent more calls than received during the fiscal year 2010,” she said.
United Way is not sanctioned to give money to individuals, said Plettinger-Mitchell. Money donated to the United Way is distributed to agencies or organizations that serve the community. According to the mission statement, “The United Way of Chesterfield County, based on sincerity and integrity, seeks to enhance the economic and social well being of the community through the collection and allocation of funds and resources based on need.”
“The best we can do for an individual is to direct them to other agencies, local churches, or food banks,” said Plettinger-Mitchell.
As for the annual report of United Way of Chesterfield County, it is “pretty solid, financially,” she said.
During the past fiscal year United Way of Chesterfield County received pledges totaling $61, 306. The organization distributed that money between 21 different local agencies or organizations.
Although United Way cannot give directly to individuals, there are agencies funded by United Way that can. One example of such an agency is CareFIRST Carolina Foundation, Inc., which sponsors a “Friends and Neighbors Fund.”
“Through the generous donations made by the United Way of Chesterfield County in 2011-12, CareFIRST Carolina was able to assist over 27 individuals from Chesterfield County and currently have two applications in process,” said Foundation Manager Mark Sobiski. “We have augmented your donations,” he told the board, “with community donations, as well as partnering with local providers to give charity care.”
Sobiski said the Foundation is currently working on an agreement with Chesterfield General Hospital that would “allow easier access and diagnosis of breast cancer for local women not qualified for the Best Chance Network program, age 46 and over.”
Lisa Baker, director of the Pee Dee Coalition Against Violence, addressed the board representing the gratitude of local families for the contributions of the United Way. “You are making a difference in the lives you’re touching,” Baker said.
The board’s recent decision to shift the organization’s fiscal year to align with the calendar year will result in an upcoming 8 month fund raising campaign, said Plettinger-Mitchell. That goal has been set at $70,000.
For more information about United Way, contact the organization on Facebook, said Plettinger-Mitchell, or call the local office at 843-623-5274.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at email@example.com.
United Way of Chesterfield County allocations for 2011-12:
Chesco, CareFirst Carolina Foundation, Inc., Hospice of Chesterfield County, McBee Rescue Squad, Chesterfield Rescue Squad, Cheraw Rescue Squad, Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault, Mercy In Me Free Medical Center, The Good Samaritan Colony, Teal’s Mill Rural Volunteer Fire Department, Adult Inter-agency Treatment Team-Blast Meal Program, Chesterfield County Council on Aging, Health Quest of Union County, Inc., Patrick Volunteer Fire Department, Chesterfield County Fist Steps, Camp Sandhills, Pee Dee Speech & Hearing, Pee Dee Council for the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina, Cheraw Arts Commission, and McBee Depot Library Association.