New United Way Launched - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

09/21/06 - Shelby County

New United Way Launched

by Donna McCollum

A small group attending the first ever United Way kick off luncheon in Shelby County is wanting to help social services serving Shelby County to be supported by Shelby County.   Project Hope director Melba Gillis said, "If I could make an appeal to industry or foundations out there United Way is the way to go."

For years foundations and what few donations that came in from Shelby County have been dispersed under the umbrella of Nacogdoches County United Way. It's not nearly enough to keep twelve agencies, including a center for traumatized children sustained. Now local employers to raise money in Shelby County for Shelby County.

Nacogdoches County United Way director Diedra Richardson explained, "We really have an opportunity to raise a lot of money. We just have to get them to buy into the concept that we are here to help support Shelby County. This money is not going into Nacogdoches County."

Hallmark Center Fixtures is on the ground floor of conducting an employee driven United Way drive.  Plant manger Brenda Warren said, "We believe these programs are very impactful for the community. That's really the reward, but we we'll have kick off luncheons and talk about the benefits and have some fun things for them to participate in."

The process will begin with educating local employees. But perhaps the more difficult struggle is encouraging more prosperous manufacturers in Shelby County to launch United Way campaigns.

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