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United Way gives thanks to community

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Despite not having met the $1.5 million goal in 2008, United Way of the River Cities board of directors and executive director, Laura Gilliam are thankful.

“While we did not quite meet our monetary goal of $1.5 million, we did achieve our community goals,” Gilliam said.

The United Way mission is to advance the common good.

“Thanks to many generous donors, volunteers, and partners we were able to do just that, despite the current economy,” said Gilliam.

Thanks to the financial gifts of individuals and organizations in the region, United Way of the River Cities total raised to date for 2008 is $1,338,548 or 89.24% of goal. United Way is committed to advancing the common good in the areas of education, income and health.

In 2008 over 1,000 educational visits were made to new parents and caregivers via the United Way Success by Six® program.

SB6 promotes the importance of early brain development and shares tips on how to raise a healthy child.

More than 25 United Way volunteers were able to file over $351,272 in tax returns and $116,411 in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) for hard working individuals in the River Cities.

The Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership strengthened its collaborative efforts with government, public and private agencies, organizations and individuals in mobilizing two task groups to address this community’s most pressing substance abuse issues: underage drinking and prescription pill misuse/abuse.

United Way is the fiscal agent for, and a member of, the CCSAPP coalition.

In partnership with the FamilyWize program United Way was able to help more than 10,500 uninsured or underinsured people in the five-county area save $110,000 plus on prescription medications.

“We are very thankful for all that we have achieved as a community in a tough economic climate,” said Cassey Bowden, Director of Resource Development & Marketing for United Way.

“Thanks to the hard work of many volunteers we raised a significant amount of money to help residents of the River Cities.

“LIVE UNITED is more than just this year’s campaign slogan, it’s an attitude and a way of life, a chance for us, together, to inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow.

“It encompasses more than just the one time a year pledge to the United Way of the River Cities campaign, it is choosing to think of “we” instead of “me”, to Give, Advocate, and Volunteer.”

United Way will hold is annual dinner to celebrate these successes and honor many loyal donors and volunteers on Thursday, March 26.

Those interested in attending may contact the United Way office at 304-523-8929.

Reservations are required.

Walk-ins will not be accepted.