United Fund of Cherokee County campaign trying something new

by Cristin Parker cristin@thecherokeean.com

The United Fund of Cherokee County (UFCC) is requesting a different kind of support from local businesses at the moment.

“We’re asking businesses, especially those with heavy foot traffic, to allow us to place our very small donation boxes at checkout counters,” campaign Chair Pam Anderson said. “Businesses who would be willing to participate, please reach out to us! We are looking for new and unique ways to obtain donations due to COVID restrictions.”

Email Betty Taylor, lbtaylor10@yahoo.com; or Nancy Washburn,nwashburn@suddenlink.net to request a donation box.

UFCC continues to accept donations through its website, unitedfund.org, via PayPal or with a credit card.

The UFCC launched the 2019-20 campaign in September 2019 with a goal to raise $107,000. Donations will be distributed to 19 pre-selected non-profit agencies throughout the county. The UFCC has provided assistance to agencies in the Cherokee County area since 1975, according to the UFCC’s website.

“United Fund of Cherokee County has been a longtime supporter of Gateway Community Partners Inc.,” Gateway officials shared on the Fund’s website. “‘TR’ is an individual our agency has served for many years. TR is unable to live on his own and lives with his family in the far south end of Cherokee County.

“Gateway transports TR to and from our work facility in Jacksonville five days per week. TR not only works to support himself but he contributes a portion of his earned income to his family as well.

“Through training and support, we have watched TR progress from needing direct staff support to complete job tasks to working with our parks crew (mowing, weed eating, litter abatement), as well as assisting staff within our facility ensuring our stock is adequate and in the correct place as orders are fulfilled.

“TR has no other means of transportation to our facility, other than what we provide. Gateway uses United Way donations to assist in meeting the transportation needs of those we serve and thanks to those donations, TR was able to receive the training/support he needed to progress and increase his earned wages.”

Gateway receives $10,000 from the UFAA each year.

Another entity supported by the UFCC is the Texas Ramp Project, which provides free ramps to local elderly and disabled residents in financial need, as identified by health care professionals. Ramps are built exclusively by volunteers.

Project volunteer Jerry Halpain shared this success story on the UFCC website, “This is our 12th ramp of 2019 -- 11 great servants built this 41-foot ramp for Sharon, near Tecula. This ramp gives her easy access to her car and yard.

The Texas Ramp Project receives $1,500 annually from the UFCC.

Other local agencies to receive funding from the UFCC this year are: the American Red Cross ($6,000); ACCESS ($500); Boy Scouts of America ($2,000); CASA ($2,500); Cherokee County Crisis Center ($12,000); Christmas Cheer ($5,000); East Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (ETCADA); Good Samaritan ($2,500); HOPE ($24,000); Jacksonville Literacy Council ($4,000); Living Alternatives ($3,000); Meals on Wheels ($7,000); Salvation Army ($3,000); the Clothes Closet & More ($4,000); Packs of Love ($2,000); and the UFCC campaign ($7,000).