Horry United Way fundraising on track

By The Editorial Board

United Way of Horry County fundraising volunteers took a holiday break with 73 percent of the $1.3 million goal pledged during the 2018 campaign’s three-month blitz. By Dec. 15, the campaign had raised $944,058 — about half that coming in during the first two weeks of December.

“We’re right on track to reach 100 percent of the goal,” campaign chairman Travis Dannelly said. He thanked all who have made contributions or pledges and urged folks who have supported the United Way in the past or are considering helping, to do so when the campaign resumes this week. The 2017 campaign, with extraordinary, one-time contributions raised $1,426,000, short of historically high amounts. The 2017 goal was $1.325 million.

The current campaign will continue through April, meaning there is time for businesses of any size to do an internal campaign. “From a mom and pop store to a corporation of 500, every pledge is impactful,” Dannelly said. United Way of Horry County supports 35 nonprofit organizations serving thousands of residents in a variety of ways, from Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to food pantries and other safety net needs such as Churches Assisting People in Conway and North Strand Helping Hand.

Two of the seven divisions of the campaign reached 90 percent of their goals by the end of the blitz. The Professional Division, led by Edwin Hinds, is at 92 percent of goal and the South Strand Division, with Stephanie English as the new chairwoman, is at 90 percent, up from 74 percent the first of December. The other divisions are Myrtle Beach, North Strand, Inland, Public Service and Industry.

“It was the most incredible last week of the blitz,” said UWHC president Genie Sherard. “On Monday, Travis sent an email to his leaders. I’m telling you, that week you could just feel the energy.” After being named president in April 2014, Sherard started the blitz at the beginning of her first campaign, and set the date-certain finish. “Volunteers wanted some holiday closure and also a firm April 30 end.”

Sherard noted that donors to date include two new Crescent Society members, increasing to 14 the number of donors giving $5,000 to $9,999. Dennis Wade leads the Crescent Society, which started three and a half years ago.

Plus or minus 100 volunteers are directly involved in various aspects of the campaign, and their efforts again have United Way of Horry County in a strong position for the final four months. Also, Sherard and Dannelly feel United Way’s educational mission is resonating with the community.

The second United to Read initiative in November, also done by Black River United Way, which serves Georgetown and Williamsburg counties, brought volunteers to 150 first grade classrooms in Horry County. Another initiative, one-on-one tutoring and mentoring in four elementary schools in the pilot school year, is United to Learn. Volunteers are matched with youngsters and meet once a week. Volunteers are needed for the spring semester, starting Jan. 3 through April 30.

Ways to contribute

In addition to workplace fundraising drives and payroll withholding, here are ways individuals may contribute to UWHC’s campaign. To make a donation:

Online | www.UnitedWayHorry.org

Text | UW2018 to 41444

Mail check | P.O. Box 673, Conway, SC 29528

To make a pledge:

Phone | 843-347-5195

United to Learn

Julia Nichols, UWHC marketing and communications coordinator, is recruiting volunteers to be United to Learn tutors and mentors. Go to www.UnitedWayHorry.org and click on events, then United to Learn in the drop menu. Or text U2LEARN2018 to 40403.