As Chair of this year’s United Way Campaign and member of the Board of Directors, I have seen firsthand the impact of our community's generous commitments to help one another. This giving attitude and desire to help others demonstrates the core values of serving others in our community. I am grateful for the ability to live and work in such a strong and resilient community. I am thankful to everyone who has taken the opportunity to give, advocate, and volunteer to ensure that our United Way is here to assist our neighbors, coworkers, and friends.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the 2023 Campaign Chairman. The campaign is off to a strong start. I would like to recognize my Campaign Cabinet: Zack Adamson, Blake Adcock, Isaiah Bosma, Mikayla Cass, Shane Day, Julian Dossche, Matt Eicholtz, Maria Feliciano, David Gregg, Bob Hardaway, Lance Lewis, Zac Long, Deanna Mathis, John Patterson, Gage Peeples, Dave Pennington, Pete Sigmon, Karen Townsend, and Greg Wrenn.
United Way has been a beacon of hope and support for countless individuals and families. We are embarking on a journey to make a real and lasting difference in the lives of our neighbors. The Power of Community has never been more important in a world that often feels divided. We have witnessed the challenges and adversities that have tested our resilience. Many of us have faced hardships we never imagined, and some are still struggling to find their footing. However, I firmly believe that together, we can create a brighter future for all members of our community.
United Way represents an opportunity for us to stand together as one community, supporting one another and working towards a common goal. It is a chance for us to make a meaningful impact on the lives of those who need our help the most. United Way looks at the toughest problems and is thoughtful about local solutions that work best in our community. United Way makes it easy for you to take meaningful action that makes a difference. Without your financial support, United Way would not be able to fund life-changing programs in education, basic needs, and health. Donations, both large and small, make it possible to have a positive impact on the lives of over 40,000 people in our local community. I hope you will join me in improving lives in Northwest Georgia with United Way. When we Unite as a community, we will make a difference!
Meet Cheryl: A United Way Impact Story
Cheryl is a single mom of seven and a Pathway of Hope participant. The Pathway of Hope initiative was launched by United Way Community Partner, The Salvation Army, to provide targeted services to families who want to break the generational cycle of crisis and enable a path out of poverty. In July 2019, in a stressful situation, she found the strength to move her family from Florida to Dalton with only $20 in her pocket.
Cheryl moved into a larger apartment to better accommodate her family. With prices rising due to inflation, the rent had increased out of her budget, and she faced eviction. Cheryl and her family joined the Pathway of Hope Initiative in July 2022 after a referral from the Lead Social Worker of Dalton Public Schools. The need for affordable housing was her top priority. She was referred to the Dalton Whitfield Community Development Corporation and moved into transitional housing.
Transitioning into permanent housing was Cheryl’s final goal. United Way partnered with the Dalton Housing Authority to fully renovate a triplex housing unit for up to 18 residents. In December 2022, Cheryl applied and was approved to transition into a newly renovated 3-bedroom apartment at Dalton Housing Authority with renovations funded by United Way of Northwest Georgia. Cheryl is a fantastic mom, strong and determined to tackle every barrier against her family's stability. Every goal she set, she successfully achieved. Thanks to you, local individuals and families can attain safe and stable housing.
No one ever thinks they will be on the other end of the story receiving services, but life presents us with unexpected challenges. When this happens, United Way is here to serve when you need us. As you reflect on what you are thankful for this season, please consider paying it forward with a gift to United Way. You never know when you or your neighbor could use an extra hand-up this holiday season. This year's campaign goal is $4.155 million, and we need your help to reach this goal. Until every need is met, there is still work to be done.
Please consider investing in United Way, and let’s connect people in need with people who can help. Together, we can create a community where everyone can thrive! Gifts can be made online at ourunitedway.org/give or mail a check to United Way P.O. Box 566, Dalton, GA 30722. Together, we are a force for good, and we will build a brighter tomorrow for our community. I appreciate your support, and let's make this campaign a resounding success.
Kevin Wright is the 2023 Campaign Chairman of United Way of Northwest Georgia.
The mission of United Way is Improving Lives. Inspiring Donors. Uniting Community.