United Way kicks off campaign at Chamber breakfast

United Way kicks off campaign at Chamber breakfast

Gulf Power District Manager John Ed McDanal, who also serves as chairman for the United Way of Northwest Florida board, speaks about United Way agencies during the Washington County Chamber of Commerce meeting on Aug. 15 in Chipley.

Published: Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 17:17 PM.

CHIPLEY — Washington County Chamber of Commerce members heard firsthand reasons why it is important to “live united.”

The United Way of Northwest Florida’s annual campaign was kicked off Thursday morning at the Chamber’s Third Thursday event, held at Northwest Florida Community Hospital.

The campaign raises funds through donations from workplace campaigns, special events and from online donations. Many of the Chamber members hold campaigns in their businesses, urging employees to participate through payroll deduction.

“We see the results of the agencies represented in the United Way every day at Gulf Power,” said Darrin Wall, manager of Gulf Power in Chipley. “We see people struggling to make ends meet day-to-day, and we hear of the success they have and the assistance they receive from these agencies.”

Working face-to-face with people receiving help from United Way agencies shows how the funds raised by the annual campaign are redistributed back into the community, Wall said.

“I have people tell me, ‘I can’t give much?’ I ask them if they can let go of one dollar a week,” said Gulf Power District Manager John Ed McDanal, who serves as chairman of the board of directors for United Way of Northwest Florida. “If you can give $1 a week, that’s $50 a year, and you pledged that money to a Meals on Wheels program, then you just turned that $50 into $500 due to the matching funds.”

McDanal said the matching funds that United Way agencies receive means that every dollar given is multiplied, and that benefit comes back to the home counties in which the money was raised.



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