Times News: Editorial: Community steps up for United Way

The United Way of Greater Kingsport’s 2023 campaign theme was “United We’re Strong,” focusing on what the organization said was “Greater Kingsport’s collective power to fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community.”

That faith was far from misplaced. The goal of this year’s campaign was $3 million. The result: $3.03 million, an incredible performance by many donors and volunteers, especially given the increase in the cost of living during the campaign period.

In December, it rose 3.4%. Last month the increase was down slightly to 3.1%, but when it costs more for groceries, folks tend to hold onto their money.

Nonetheless, they surpassed the goal in order to help others in greater need, something this region is noted for.

As a result, the United Way has allocated $1.53 million to 25 member agencies that run 32 programs.

“United Way remains committed to leveraging the generosity of our community to improve lives in our community,” said Danelle Glasscock, executive director. “United Way remains strongly committed to being a strong advocate in challenging times for needs in our community.”

The member allocations are but one part of the agency’s giving, which also includes $140,000 for community initiatives and grants and $705,000 to other area community chests and other United Ways.

While the goal was met, the amount raised was $70,000 less than 2022’s fundraising campaign. Glasscock said the amount of donations and pledges has remained around the $2.8 million mark since 2020.

“Our organization, as did many, did experience a steep change decline in 2020 from the years pre-COVID,” Glasscock said. “This decline is continuing to be felt by our organization and those we serve.”

Nonetheless, over the past year the United Way of Greater Kingsport achieved success. Highlights included:

• Helping 54 people achieve permanent housing through the Kingsport Homeless Coalition.

• Funding 32 programs that affected more than 25,000 people.

• More than $270,000 tax refunds processed for 281 households through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

• 10,475 service hours by volunteers with an estimated value of more than $333,000.

• 1,524 books distributed through United WE READ.

Well done, greater Kingsport community.

Your United Way donations will allow dozens of organizations to continue to provide the level of support needed to meet the region’s needs.

You may view the entire annual report here: uwaykpt.org/2023annualreport.


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