United Way gets boost from students

Published 9:30 pm Thursday, November 13, 2008

With the help of a high school social and service sorority and a bunch of big-hearted kids, the Pike County United Way fundraising campaign is steaming rolling ahead toward its goal for 2009.

Tonya Gibson, Pike County United Way executive director, said she was approached by the members of Tri-Omega sorority who wanted to become involved in the United Way campaign.

“When the high school sororities were formed, they were primarily service oriented,” Gibson said. “In recent years, they have become more social type organizations. They are now going back to their old ways. So, several of the members talked with Geoffrey Spann, principal of Troy Elementary School, and he gave them permission to put United Way donation jugs in the K-5 classrooms.”

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The plastic jugs were donated by Cox Containers in Troy and the lids by Southern Classic Foods in Brundidge.

“We don’t have an exact total right now but the students, faculty and staff of TES donated more than $600 to the Pike County United Way,” Gibson said. “It’s so good to see young people involved in caring for others. That’s what the money that is raised through United Way does. And, all of the money raised through the Pike County campaign stays right here in Pike County to help our friends and neighbors.”

Tri-Omega will award prizes to the top fundraising class at each grade level.

Gibson expressed appreciation to the members of Tri-Omega for coming on board the Pike County United Way campaign and to all of those at TES who made the jug donations such a great success.

The 2009 Pike County United Way fundraising campaign officially ends on Thanksgiving Day but donations will continue to be accepted after that date.

“Our goal this year is $100,000,” Gibson said. “That’s the same that it has been for the last three years but, since we haven’t met it, it remains the same.”

Last year the Pike County United Way campaign raised $80,000.

“That was close and I believe that we have a better chance of meeting our goal this year than in years past,” Gibson said. “Right now, we’re at about $41,000 and that’s where we were about this time last year. But we don’t have the figures from the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Brundidge, the Wal-Mart store here in Troy or Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky and they are among our biggest contributors. I would guess that, with those contributions, we would be up around $60,000. So, we have a chance to reach our goal or come really close.”

Most of the contributions to the Pike County United Way come through payroll deductions but Gibson said a concentrated effort has been made to enlist the support of individuals and businesses throughout the county.

“Last week, we sent mail outs to individuals and businesses and, hopefully, we’ll get good response from those,” she said. “And the general public is seemingly more aware of the many things that United Way does here in Pike County because people are coming to us asking what they can do for us instead of us having to go to them.

“Pike County United Way is getting better recognition and people are being assured that the money donated here in Pike County stays here in Pike County.”

For more information about the Pike County United Way or to make a donation, call Gibson at 670-1901.