United Way campaign continues in 2013

As the United Way of the Lowcountry fundraising campaign moves into a new year at 77 percent of the $2.8 million goal, United Way agencies continue to serve.
“We provide respite services to enable the primary caregivers of individuals who live at home the opportunity to take time for themselves,” said Deborah Walsh of Jasper County Disabilities and Special Needs.
“Funding for this service has significantly decreased. The individuals living in our five group homes, all located within Ridgeland, are provided with 24- hour per day care and supervision. Those who attend day programs are provided with training to learn and/or maintain skills to eventually achieve possible job placements,” she said.
Through United Way of the Lowcountry, a $1,000 gift provides a year of nursing oversight by the Jasper County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs for one resident, ensuring their health, safety and well-being, and drastically reducing the amount of community resources expended.
In Beaufort and Jasper counties there are homeless families, abused children, low literacy rates, high obesity rates and a whole host of other problems.
“We need everyone’s help to close out our campaign and meet our goal,” said Peter Post, chairman of the local United Way board. “The $2.8 million is a hard dollar amount that equals what agencies and United Way have identified as our needs to support the residents of Beaufort and Jasper counties.”
The United Way of the Lowcountry Board of Directors announced gifts and pledges have been received totaling  $2,244,724 or 76.6 percent of the organization’s 2012 goal of $2.8 million.
Added to United Way of the Lowcountry’s traditional work to provide basic needs such as protection and temporary housing for abused children: Starting in October, volunteer reading tutors have been working in eight Lowcountry schools.
The goal: Ensure that students are reading at grade level when they enter fourth grade. That ties to the long-term goal to reduce dropouts by 50 percent within 10 years in all Beaufort County and Jasper high schools.
Bonnie Bennett, Jasper County campaign chair, said United Way is key to improving the lives of Lowcountry residents, one family at a time.
“The campaign goal of $2.8 million is a big number, but it makes a difference in peoples’ lives in amounts like a few hundred dollars, or an overnight stay in a shelter for abused children, or stepping in with hospice care,” she said.
Please give and help United Way of the Lowcountry meet the needs of the community, and meet the $2.8 million goal.
To learn more about United Way of the Lowcountry and its work to make our community a better place, call 843-982-3040 or visit www.uwlowcountry.org.

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