I occasionally encounter people who claim they have never heard of United Way.
As the executive director of United Way of Bedford County when I hear such a remark, I am hurt, but not surprised. I work every day making efforts to put United Way of Bedford County in the public eye. It is a constant task.
One of the best events we have for touting what United Way of Bedford County can do is our annual “Day of Caring.”
Volunteer workers from Newell Brands, First Community Bank and Vanderbilt Bedford Hospital spent Thursday morning helping with chores requests from several of our partners – the Shelbyville-Bedford County Senior Citizens Center, the Community Development Center, First Choice Pregnancy, Boys and Girls Club, Caregiver Relief and Bedford County 4-H.
A big thanks to Lisa McMahan of Newell Brands, Linda Nichols from First Community Bank and Whitney Collier from Vanderbilt Bedford for arranging teams of workers. Thanks also to all the workers who put in so much work.
The morning, as is tradition, is capped off by a lunch at the large pavilion at H.V. Griffin Park. Tyson Foods always comes through with a delicious meal of fried chicken and all of the trimmings. The lunch is truly the highlight of the day. Like everyone else we are emerging from the COVID-19 haze.
Day of Caring was back on track this year, but we can always use more volunteers, either individuals or groups.
This is also the time of the year where we start planning for our employee campaigns. Individuals at participating businesses are asked to make donations which are taken out of their paycheck throughout the year.
They also have an option of making a onetime contribution. Cooper Steel, First Community Bank, Heritage South Community Credit Union, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation, Community Development Center, Shepenco and Bedford County government (teachers, staff members from all levels) participate in this program.
Again, COVID played a role in preventing some businesses from participating this past year. We hope they will be back for 2022.
As with volunteers, we would also appreciate anyone who might want to start an employee campaign. We have the support materials available to make it an easy project to complete.
We sponsor 14 partners, including two for the Community Development Center. In addition to those mentioned above we provide funds for Bedford Builds Habitat for Humanity. Tennessee Poison Control Center, CASA Works, Hospice of the Highland Rim, Imagination Library, Shelbyville-Bedford County Humane Society and Family Counseling Center.
United Way of Bedford County also funds the Backpack program which provides food for school children who might not have enough to eat on the weekends.
Thanks to generous individual donations and group support such as a $2,000 check from the Shelbyville Optimist Club we are able to provide school supplies for students, teachers and staff members at our county schools.
The main thing to remember is the money raised here stays here and the need is great. When you are thinking about donating before the end of the year, we ask that you strongly consider United Way of Bedford County.
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