United Way plays vital role in community

Published 11:00 pm Monday, September 17, 2012

Seventeen local human service organizations and programs that directly support Pike County residents will benefit from the Pike County United Way annual fund-raising efforts.

“Right now, it is crucial that we raise funds to support these very worthwhile agencies,” Pike County United Way Tonya Gibson said. “If the trust fund referendum doesn’t pass, these agencies will lose tons of money and their services will be drastically cut. If it passes, these agencies will still need the support of the United Way to help keep their heads above the water.”

Funds raised by and donated to the Pike County United Way are allocated to local human service organizations and programs.

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“We make certain that local people are cared for,” Gibson said. “None of the funds raised here go to corporate offices or for salaries. These funds stay in Pike County for the people of Pike County.”

Gibson said there is no way to put a dollar mark on the services that are provided by the 17 agencies that are supported by the Pike County United Way.

“Each agency plays a vital role in our community,” she said. “For example, the Troy Charity League conducts eye and hearing screenings for all first, third and fifth-grade students in the public and private schools in the county and all home schooled students who request the services.”

If a problem is detected and assistance is needed with the medical expenses or the purchase of glasses or hearing aids, Easter Seals will step in and help.

“Many of the agencies work together to provide needed services, for instance, the American Red Cross, Easter Seals, the Salvation Army – usually what one can’t do, the other can,” Gibson said.

The Pike County United Way raised $45,000 in 2012 through fund-raisers, corporate sponsorships, payroll dedications and private donations. This year’s goal is to equal and, hopefully, surpass that amount.

“The money that is raised is allocated to the different agencies based on their requests,” Gibson said. “Of course, the amount of support depends on the amount of money that has been raised. After the requests have been submitted and the needs assessed, the money is allocated by percentages. But no agency gets above 11 percent. Each agency that is funded gets a check from the United Way four times a year. The more money we raise the more these agencies can do for our friends and neighbors.”

Agencies to which the Pike County United Way allocates funds are the Pike County 4-H Clubs, the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Colley Senior Complex, Salvation Army, Red Cross, East Central Mental Health, House of Ruth, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Troy Charity League, Humane Society of Pike County, Pioneer Museum of Alabama, Organized Community Action Program (OCAP), Easter Seals, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Sav-a-Life.

Tax-deductible donations may be mailed to the Pike County United Way, P.O. Box 204, Troy, AL 36081.