United Way rep visits Holmes County BOCC

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 10:10 AM.

“When someone gives to United Way over the course of a year it has a large impact,” he said. “When it comes to United Way it’s like a grant and someone, not a paid staff member, but someone within your community will look at the dollars, they will look at the grant request and our agencies will fill out an application, a grant application, they tell us how much we need, how they’re going to use the money and that whole process. For Holmes County those individuals are Julia Bullington with the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce, Melissa Willard with Regions Bank, Fran Haithcoat with Wells Fargo and Brenda Blitch from Doctors Memorial Hospital.”

Because of grant matches, Sharpe said, the money given through donations is matched and increased.

“For example Life Management has a foster care adoption program and $25 is given for every dollar donated,” he said. “Meals on Wheels gets $9 for every dollar and the Early Learning Coalition that funds daycare centers in Holmes County gets $17 for every dollar donated. The Red Cross has helped five people over this winter after loosing everything due to house fires and they don’t get any funding aside from agencies like ours.”

Commissioner David Whitaker asked how does the United Way keep people from abusing these services.

“We’ve learned a lot from past disasters,” said Sharpe. “We have a system set up that keeps people from double-dipping, so to speak, and all agencies have to be reviewed and audited on an annual basis. It’s all about accountability.”

Whitaker asked if it was possible to give a one-time donation.

“Yes,” said Sharpe. “You can go online and you can use cash, checks, credit cards or payroll deduction. Payroll deduction is the strength of United Way because you’ll never miss a dollar out of each paycheck.”

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