BY LAUREN HENRY
The final report of the 2012 Greene County United Way Campaign on Wednesday morning revealed that 63 percent of the total goal has been met.
A total of $407,487.61 in gifts and pledges has been received.
However, Ron Metcalfe, the 2012 general campaign chair, said pledges will continue to come in after the campaign season officially ends.
The various divisions reported on gifts and pledges at the breakfast meeting on Wednesday at the YMCA, a United Way agency.
The City Division has exceeded its goal of $10,000 by bringing in $10,440, for 10.44 percent of the target.
The City Division was the only division to exceed its goal.
The County Division came close to its goal of $20,000, with $19,192 collected. This represents 95.96 percent of the goal amount.
The Public Service Division met 87.88 percent of its goal of $90,000. The total collected was $79,091.13.
Wayland Seaton, High School Supervisor for the Greene County School System and chair of the Public Service Division, presented the report and highlighted one of the division's biggest donors: Laughlin Memorial Hospital.
Noah Roark, Human Resources Director at Laughlin Memorial Hospital, reported that hospital employees pledged a total of $19,600, which is a 20 percent increase over last year's donations.
The Individual Gifts Division reached 72.53 percent of its goal of $35,000. The total pledged amount is $25,387.38.
The Small Business Division brought in $37,735.33 of total donations toward the $60,000 target. This is 62.89 percent.
The Major Gifts Division reached 55 percent of its $435,000 goal, but Mike Hopkins, division chair and Director, Engineering and Tech Services, at Jarden Zinc Products in Greeneville, said that donations continue throughout the year.
A total of $235,641.77 has been collected to date.
Hopkins reported that some individual Major Gifts pledges and/or donations represent a substantial increase over previous years.
American Greetings Corporation doubled employee gifts, and BTL Industries increased employee gifts by 26 percent over last year.
First Tennessee Bank increased both its corporate donation as well as employee gifts.
The Greeneville Sun increased its employee gifts for the third year in a row.
Hopkins sent out a big thank-you to LandAir. He said the company holds fundraisers throughout the year and has brought in $58,000 in pledges from employees.
UNITED WAY STORIES
Kathy Myers, director of Foster Grandparents, a United Way agency, was at the meeting to thank volunteers for donations as well as talk about how United Way support helps both elderly and school-age children.
A Foster Grandparent, Debra Bass, shared her personal experience with the United Way-sponsored program. The small stipend provided by the program assists Bass, who is on a fixed income.
However, it is the relationships she builds with the children that really means a lot to her, she said.
Bass was diagnosed with lung cancer and recently finished chemotherapy treatment. By November, she was back in the classrooms with the children.
"I couldn't wait to go back," she said. "Now, it gives me a reason to get up in the morning."
The meeting was held at the Greene County YMCA. Scholarships for Y services are a United Way beneficiary.
Mike Hollowell, YMCA executive director, welcomed the volunteers present and recognized the importance of hearing from organizations such as the Foster Grandparents.
"We thrive on hearing stories," he said. "That's what got you into United Way in the first place."
Hollowell also discussed how the YMCA has an important role in the community beyond recreational activities.
He said United Way funding helps the Y provide membership for low-income families and to assist the homeless.
He also described how access to a heated pool and therapy has helped one woman transition from being wheelchair-bound to being able to walk with a walker, to finally being able to walk on her own, walker-free.
United Way Campaign Chair Metcalfe, who is vice president of operations at Radio Greeneville, thanked the volunteers and community for their support of the 2012 campaign.
The United Way continues to accept donations, he said.
The agencies which receive funding from the United Way of Greene County are, in alphabetical order: the American Red Cross; Appalachian Council, Girl Scouts; the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County; CASA of Northeast Tennessee; CHIPS Family Violence Shelter; the Child Advocacy Center of the 3rd Judicial District; The Children's Center; CONTACT Ministries; Family Resource Center of Greene County Schools; Family Support Center of Greeneville City Schools; Foster Grandparents Program; Frontier Health-Nolachuckey-Holston Area Mental Health Center; Greene County Cancer Program; Greeneville-Greene County Community Ministries/Food Bank; Greeneville Emergency & Rescue Squad; Literacy Council; Mountain Region Speech & Hearing Center; Opportunity House; Personal Support Services; RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program); Sequoyah Council, Boy Scouts of America; Tennessee Poison Center; Tennessee Rehabilitation Center; and YMCA Scholarships.
For more information, or to volunteer in the campaign, please call the United Way office at 639-9361.