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.

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Horry County School District and United Way of Horry County have partnered together to coordinate a program that gives students in need, one-on-one attention to advance their progress in a subject where they’re falling behind. This could be reading, math, behavior, etc.

Volunteers will be matched with a student and will meet once a week during school hours. A weekly, 30-45 minute time will be coordinated through the school’s instructional coach. We hope over time the student and mentor develop a positive and progressive relationship.

Go to http://unitedwayhorry.org/united-to-learn/ to learn more or to register as a volunteer.

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Family at BLT sign

United Way of Horry County, along with A Father’s Place, officially opened the Born Learning Trail located next to 1800 Racepath Ave. in Conway. Many children, parents and caregivers enjoyed dressing up in costumes and interacting with each other using the prompts from the 10 signs of the trail. The trail offers the opportunity for a learning experience with a young child, asking them to identify, use their imagination and be active. On Halloween, when a child offered a correct response or engaged in an activity, they were rewarded with a treat.

United Way of Horry County’s Board of Directors have identified the need to make early childhood education a focus in their efforts. Installing Born Learning Trails throughout Horry County is one of many ways United Way plans to create change. This was the second trail to be built, the first trail being at the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex. United Way volunteers from HTC and Santee Cooper built the trail on Day of Caring, September 15th.

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United to Read

Join United Way of Horry County and Black River United Way on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 from 10AM-11AM for the 2nd annual literacy event! On this day, over 300 volunteers across, Horry, Georgetown, and Williamsburg Counties will be reading to over 300 elementary classrooms. Horry County will have a focus on all first grade classrooms! Please consider signing up to read to a classroom in your community.

To register for event, click here!

You must also be registered as a volunteer with Horry County Schools. Please fill out the online application, here!

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VISTA Education and Impact Specialist at United Way of Horry County

United Way of Horry County is excited to announce we are recruiting for one AmeriCorps VISTA member to support our work in Horry County schools and provide impact training to our partners.

Our Education work is focused on early grade excellence by helping to increase the number of children who are reading on grade level. The VISTA member will develop and implement volunteer engagement initiatives to recruit volunteer readers/tutors/mentors for our existing partner elementary schools. The VISTA will implement a system for regular recruitment of volunteers including tracking volunteer data and contact info, compiling orientation materials, providing support to volunteers, and implementing a system for following up with volunteers. The VISTA will work under the supervision of the Community Impact Staff to develop and implement plans for a six-week summer reading camp to take place at predetermined schools within Horry County beginning summer 2018. Additionally, the VISTA will coordinate with Community Impact Staff to visit funded partners and provide training on subjects such as program evaluation, logic models, and completing grant applications.

Desired Qualifications:

This position is very dynamic and will require an individual with the ability to handle challenges and work effectively in a cross-functional environment. Must have strong oral and written communication, presentation, interpersonal and project management skills. Must be comfortable taking the lead on projects with high visibility in the community. Must be a strong team player but also possess the ability to work independently.

Minimum Qualifications:

Must be personable and interested in early education and nonprofits. A background or experience in education, social work, or communications is helpful. The ability to problem-solve and establish relationships is also helpful. Must have a desire to serve the community and improve skills. A valid driver’s license, reliable transportation, and proof of insurance are required.

Benefits Summary:

  • Living Stipend – $11,676 (taxable)
  • Education Award – $5,775 (taxable)
  • Healthcare Insurance – Included
  • Childcare, if qualify
  • Mileage reimbursement (from your UWHC to meetings, forums, trainings, etc.)

To Apply:

We collaborate with Black River United Way on VISTA positions. Applications will be done through them, but the position will be at United Way of Horry County in Conway, SC.  Go to https://my.americorps.gov/mp/login.do and create an application. Once you log in to your account, click “Search Listings” and enter “Black River United Way Americorps VISTA Collaborative” in the program name and then select SEARCH.

For questions regarding this position, contact Rosanne Dates at rosanne@unitedwayhorry.org. Learn more about being an AmeriCorps member at: http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps.

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Horry United Way sets higher goal for 2018 campaign

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