Hundreds of volunteers come together to strengthen this year’s United Way fundraising effort

Hundreds of local volunteers came together yesterday to strengthen this year’s United Way of the Mid-South fundraising effort during Employee Campaign Leader’s Training at The Peabody in Memphis, TN.

“This is a tremendous undertaking,” said United Way General Campaign Chairman Joe DiNicolantonio (Regions Bank), “but with your leadership in the organizations where you work, I know we can make this happen for our community.”

Joe DiNicolantonio

DiNicolantonio and other speakers emphasized the importance of providing funding for United Way’s network of programs addressing local education, financial stability and health.

The training kickoff was hosted by Ron Childers of WMC TV 5. Childers emphasized the need to support United Way, especially since it provides funding for many organizations that struggle for recognition in our community.

Ron Childers

“These smaller agencies are doing a lot of good across the Mid-South, but they aren’t as well known as larger organizations. When we give to United Way, we’re making sure they can continue the important work they do for people in our area,” Childers said.

Childers’ thoughts were echoed by Scott Fountain (Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation) who emphasized the benefit to supporting United Way’s Community Impact Fund.

“When I became a Board member of United Way, I started to see how important the allocations process is – now, I make sure 100% of my United Way gift can be used by volunteers to support the network of agencies working to improve people’s lives and build a better community,” Fountain said.

Marlon Foster

Marlon Foster from Knowledge Quest, Inc. spoke about how a United Way grant helped fund the creation of the organization roughly 15 years ago, and how it has grown since. He also introduced a 14-year-old student in the program who has made great strides in his studies despite personal challenges, including the death of his mother early this year. The student ended the last school year with a 4.0 GPA.

“Mr. Foster helps me stay focused on the task at hand. He knows some days are hard, but he helps me understand my future and see the bigger picture so I can stay on track and succeed,” the student shared.

Many United Way network partner agencies were on-hand to answer questions and talk about the work their organizations to do impact our area. The official kickoff to the 2012 United Way fundraising drive is Friday, September 14th during this year’s Day of Caring activities.

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