United Way of Central Carolinas hosted a reception Thursday afternoon, May 31, to thank Anson County’s volunteers for helping to make this year’s United Way campaign one of the most successful in years.
South Piedmont Community College (SPCC) president Dr. Stan Sidor started off the ceremony by welcoming the group of volunteers to the Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro, a building that the college has renovated into classroom and meeting space.
Sidor quoted an unknown author, saying, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” He added that the acts of kindness of those in the room had gone a long way toward helping many in the Anson County community.
Richard Heins, director of the United Way of Central Carolinas, recognized Kim Wilson, who chaired Anson County’s Day of Caring, and also Caroline Goins, who was unable to attend the celebration. Heins also introduced Dr. Fred Thompson, president of Anson Community Hospital, who he called a “superhuman volunteer” who has volunteered to chair Anson County’s campaign not just for two years in a row, but three years, which is, Goins said, very unusual.
Dr. Thompson said that when he first met Heins and began working on the United Way campaign, he asked Heins what he does “during the off-season.” “He said, there is no off-season for United Way,” Thompson recalled.
The United Way campaign has been “rebuilding” after a few years, Thompson said, and in 2011, Anson County raised $77,000.
The top 10 organizations that helped raise the most money accounted for 92 percent of that total. Among those were SPCC, which raised $8,000, doubling its 2010 campaign; Hornwood, which had a 7 percent increase over 2010 with $17,000; Anson Community Hospital, which had a 10-percent increase over last year’s total with $13,000; the Anson County School System, which had an amazing 34 percent increase from 2010 with more than $13,000; Anson County Government, which had a 12 percent increase over last year and raised $5,000; and the largest single contributor to the United Way for at least the past two years, Premiere Fibers of Ansonville, which raised $18,500. Others in the top 10, whose representatives were not present at the reception, included Progress Energy, Anson Bank & Trust, the town of Wadesboro and Pee Dee Electric.
Kim Wilson gave a report on the United Way Day of Caring, stating that 250 volunteers and 32 teams helped provide cleaning and yard work services for local people and nonprofit organizations. Dr. Thompson pointed out that the United Way of Central Carolinas includes much larger and wealthier counties like Mecklenburg, Union and Iredell, yet Anson had the second-most successful Day of Caring in the region.
Anson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Greg Firn, who also serves as the chair of the United Way’s community investment committee, also spoke during the reception. “One of the key tasks of the community investment committee is to dole out the money that is raised,” he explained. “We are also sad when we get done with the process because we never have enough to fund the needs of these organizations.”
Firn assured those agencies that benefit from United Way funds that the committee agonizes over how much money to give to which organizations, and always keeps in mind the good that all of them do for Anson County.
Before turning over the 2012 chairmanship to Lula Jackson, director of Anson County’s Department of Social Services, Thompson said that he feels the United Way “is helping real people right here, right now.”
After formally taking over the chairman position, Jackson said, “With the support of United Way, Anson County has been able to do a lot to help provide services. Anson County may be considered a poor county, but we are rich in people who do for others.”