Despite the challenges of the coronavirus, the Habersham County United Way (HCUW) has been able to fund all promised allocations for 2020 and through the end of March 2021. That very fact can be explained through the grace of God and the generosity of businesses and individuals who work and live in Habersham.
According to HCUW Board Chairman Bob Cook, there was never a question of whether United Way would have the funds they needed. Rather, as unemployment and food insecurity rose, a special Covid-19 Response Fund was created. Over $35,000 in additional funds were given by the North Georgia Community Foundation, the Stephjo Foundation, the South State Bank, Ethicon and others. These funds have been used to meet the needs of Habersham’s most vulnerable residents.
Interestingly, although the Habersham County United Way was not able to conduct one of its major fundraisers in 2020 that has provide valuable funds in the past, they have been able to honor all promised funding completely. HCUW’s funds make up as much as 25-30% of each agency’s funding. A list of the agency partners can be found here.
Unlike many fundraising organizations, United Way collects funds locally and 99% of all funds raised stay local. Billy Boyd, the executive director, is the only funded employee of HCUW; the majority of the work of the organization is completed through volunteers.
Boyd explains that giving is a personal thing and comes from a desire to help others. By giving through the United Way, even small gifts can make a huge difference in keeping the agency partners going. Boyd states, “We’re a fundraiser and we’re good at it. Because of that, we can take some of the fundraising pressure off our agency partners to allow them to focus on meeting community needs while we provide them funding.”
Besides providing funding allocations to partners, HCUW shares its building with a food ministry and a soup kitchen. HCUW has been able to provide the space without rent to help these ministries thrive. HCUW is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. To make a donation, no matter how small, click here.