By United Way of Bedford County Executive Director Mark McGee In my tenure as the executive director of United Way of Bedford County I have discovered that many people don’t truly understand what we do.
In my tenure as the executive director of United Way of Bedford County I have discovered that many people don’t truly understand what we do.
Even though we are part of United Way Worldwide, and adhere to their rules and regulations, as a local entity we make local decisions on where the donations we receive are used. We help provide support to 13 non-profit agencies and 14 programs, all either based in Bedford County or providing needed services to county residents.
Our goal is to make Bedford County a better place to live for everyone regardless of financial, education or ethnic backgrounds. I can’t stress enough that every dollar we raise, beyond fees to the state and United Way Worldwide, helps benefit residents of Bedford County. And like most non-profits we are appreciative of every dollar we receive.
Also, like most non-profits the CoVID-19 pandemic has played havoc with our funding. Each year our allocation committee spends many hours determining where the funds we have available will be distributed. Kayla Hillard chaired the allocations committee for 2022 with assistance from board members Angi Huffman, Kristin Brown, Vicki Hull and Ivan Jones.
The committee studies extensive financial reports provided by agencies seeking funds. They hold face-to-face interviews with representatives from each agency. Not everyone gets approved. The agencies approved for 2022-2023 are Bedford County 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs of Bedford County, Bedford Builds Habitat for Humanity, CASA Works, Child Development Center, (Early Intervention and Family Support), Contact Lifeline, First Choice Pregnancy, Caregiver Relief Program, Shelbyville-Bedford County Humane Association, Shelbyville-Bedford County Senior Citizens Center, Tennessee Poison Center, Hospice of the Highland Rim and Imagination Library of Bedford County. We also provide funding for the Backpack Program which provides food for local students who might go hungry on weekends.
I realize that unless you have the need for one of these agencies you might not know they are partners of United Way of Bedford County. Support of United Way of Bedford County means we can provide more funding to our partners and even be able to increase our number of partners we help support. I often receive calls from those in need in Middle Tennessee counties who do not have a United Way.
Ask them how important it would be for them to have a local United Way to provide support. We don’t help those with individual requests directly, but we pay a fee to be part of the United Way 2-1-1 program which offers 24-hour-a-day, seven days a week, help to individuals. We receive donations in several ways – sponsorships, employee campaigns, corporate donations and contributions for individuals. Businesses—urged to be sponsors as well as initiating employee campaigns.
Basically, the partners we help fund can take you from the cradle to the grave. Big donations are great, but as little as $10 a month adds up to make a difference. Go to our website at www.unitedwaybedford. org to make a donation. Checks can also be sent to United Way of Bedford County, P.O. Box 1438, Shelbyville, TN 37162.
An investment in United-Way of Bedford County means an investment in improving the lives of many of your friends and neighbors. Thank you for your support.
Sincerely, Mark McGee
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