Families who are at risk of becoming homeless. Senior citizens who are unable to leave their homes for food. Women and children who are the victims of abuse. Individuals who have lost everything they own in a home fire. These are just some of the people that the United Way is helping right here in Florence County every day. And, unfortunately, these are also the people who might not get the help they need without the United Way’s funding.

Currently, the United Way of Florence County is just over 15% short of reaching our goal of raising $1.2 million to help those in need in Florence County. We are extremely thankful for every company and individual who has donated to this year’s campaign so far, but as the Campaign Chair for this year’s annual campaign, as well as a member of the United Way’s Community Investment Committee, I know just how important it is to reach or get as close to the fundraising goal as possible. This month, the Community Investment Committee will interview the United Way of Florence County’s partner agencies to learn more about how they are using your donations to help the needy in our community. Many of those agencies have wonderful ideas for new programs that could better serve the community. Some of those agencies have also expressed to us that the amount of those in need is growing or have waitlists of people waiting to receive help. As a member of the committee, it is very difficult to hear these ideas and to hear that there are people in need and not have the money to give to these agencies to help. This year, the committee faces the even more difficult decision of having to cut funding to the agencies because we have not reached goal yet. When we have to cut funding to agencies, it does not just mean the agencies will have to be a little more frugal or will not be able to start a new program, it could mean that there are people who will not be able to receive the life-saving services they desperately need or even that some of these agencies may have to shut their doors for good. 

Many of us are very lucky to be in a position where we do not currently need any of the services that the United Way’s partner agencies offer. However, there are many out there whose lives rely on those services. Those people could be your neighbors, your co-workers, your friends, or maybe even one day, you. If we want to be able to help those people and have the agencies be able to continue to offer their services in the future, we need people like you who are able to donate.  So whether you can give a little or a lot, please consider giving. Donations can be mailed to or dropped off at the United Way’s office at 1621 West Palmetto Street in Florence, 29501. Donations can also be made online by going to www.uwflorence.org/give. If you have any questions about the United Way, the agencies, or how your donations help, please do not hesitate to call 843-662-2407. The last day to donate to this year’s campaign is Saturday, June 30, 2018.



Kevin Russell
2017-2018 UWFC Campaign Chair