United Way of Lowcountry campaign clears $2M

With the holidays in full swing and the Season of Giving under way, United Way of the Lowcountry leaders encourage helping others.

One way is to shop, save and donate at J Banks Retail Store on Hilton Head Island. Last Friday, Dec. 21, J Banks Retail Store at 35 Main Street on Hilton Head offered all shoppers 25 percent off purchases from 2-6 p.m., with 10 percent of the store’s total sales that day being donated back to United Way of the Lowcountry.

“This is a blessed area of South Carolina and the nation, but we have many, many challenges to address,” said Peter Post, chairman of the board for United Way of the Lowcountry. “In Beaufort and Jasper counties we have homeless families, abused children, low literacy rates, high obesity rates and a whole host of other problems.

“We have identified needs of more than $2.8 million across the two counties, and our campaigners are working hard to raise that money now,” he said. “What better gift than to give back to the community through United Way?”

As of last week, the United Way of the Lowcountry Board of Directors announced gifts and pledges have been received totaling  $2,006,493, which is 71.6 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: Since October, volunteer reading tutors are 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.

Garrett Wreden, Beaufort campaign chair, said United Way takes a big-picture approach by supporting 44 agencies and partnerships that deal directly with people and problems in the two counties.

“By giving to United Way of the Lowcountry, people can be assured their dollars are put to good use right here in Beaufort County and Jasper County, and that all expenditures are properly accounted for and audited each year. Pledging $5 a month is the same as giving up one movie or pay per view rental, or passing up one fast food lunch every 30 days.

“In this holiday season, they say it’s better to give than to receive — and we encourage people to give to United Way of the Lowcountry,” Wreden said.

Please give and help United Way of the Lowcountry meet the needs of the community.

To learn more about United Way, call 843-982-3040 or visit www.uwlowcountry.org.

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