United Way, Chamber join in appreciation of volunteers

Sue Guinn Legg • Apr 11, 2018 at 10:51 PM

The United Way of Washington County introduced a couple of new team leaders at its annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast with the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday and followed up with the presentation of more than $1 million in United Way contributions to local nonprofit service agencies.

Ten days into her role as the United Way’s new president and CEO, Kristan Ginnings told the joint gathering of Chamber members and United Way supporters that the United Way’s 17 partner agencies last year made more than 1.3 million service contacts with county residents in need.

Also last year, Ginnings said, the United Way raised more money for the agencies than in the prior year and as a result was able to increase the annual funding presented to the agencies on Wednesday.

In keeping with April’s observance of National Volunteer Appreciation Month, Ginnings recognized 12 community minded companies that allowed their employees to team up to perform much-needed work for the service agencies during the annual United Way Week of Caring.

She thanked the United Way’s board and Allocations Committee members for donating their time, expertise and energy to help advance the health, education and financial well being of the community’s residents.

In his first address to the United Way as the 2018 campaign chairman, County Commissioner and retired Army Col. Gary McAllister shared what he said is one his favorite military acronyms.

“BLUF. That’s bottom line up front,” he said. “What’s the United Way’s bottom line up front? Changing lives and making a difference in the community, helping kids and seniors, changing lives and raising money that goes back into changing lives and making a difference.

“That’s why I joined the United Way and that’s why I hope you will join me in making 2018 a great year,” McAllister said.

Ginnings said in addition to the total $1,066,000 in campaign donations presented to 16 of United Way partner agencies on Wednesday, the United Way has distributed donations pledged to its campaign for other nonprofit services in the county, including the Community Chest organizations in Jonesborough and Gray, and others located outside the county.

Volunteer Johnson City, a service that connects volunteers with service agencies that need them, also received a $5,000 allocation from the campaign.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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