As of Aug. 4, the local United Way office officially relocated to a new home on the fourth floor of the HomeTrust Bank building on North Roan Street at Mockingbird Lane.
For those who need to keep in touch, the United Way’s new address is 1907 N. Roan St., Suite 409, Johnson City, TN 37601; and the new phone number is 423-220-1229.
For help with the move, President and CEO Kristan Ginnings and the United Way staff sent thanks to a small army of volunteers who turned out to do the heavy lifting.
The all-volunteer moving crew included several of their own family members, Johnson City Cardinals General Manager Zach Clark and a team of Cardinals interns, 2018 Campaign United Way Chairman Gary McAllister and United Way board members Jeff Keller and Matt Evans with HomeTrust Bank.
Poised to kick off the 2018 fall campaign next week and with a couple of new United Way initiatives rolling out this fall, Ginnings said, “We are starting everything fresh.”
In addition to the new office, the United Way board recently adopted a new funding model that, for the first time in many years, may add three new health and human services programs to the 17 that receive annual funding from the United Way
And by the fist of September, a new virtual reading program being piloted in 10 Johnson City and Washington County classrooms will give local United Way volunteers an opportunity to help improve the reading proficiency of second graders from the comfort of their own offices or homes.
Ginnings said the computers have already been set up in second-grade classrooms at Mountain View Elementary School in Johnson City and at Lamar and West View schools in Washington County. Teachers have been through the training. And soon the students who are reading below their grade level that the program is geared to help will be identified.
The goal, Ginnings said, is to bring the students’ reading up to grade level before they reach third grade and, with that, improve their learning ability through the remainder of their school years.
As for the new United Way campaign, the kickoff is set for Thursday, Aug. 23, and will include a competitive fundraising element to be introduced by two friendly but fierce competitors, WJHL Sports Director Kenny Hawkins and former Jonesborough mayor Kelly Wolfe. Ginnings said the new element will be repeated in each of this year’s campaign team meetings and in addition to the money it raises will add a some fun to the campaign.
Following the kickoff, the Cardinals will host the first fundraising event of the new campaign season, Saturday night, Aug. 25, with the first Star Wars Night at Cardinal Park.
The benefit night at the game will feature free light sabers for the first 1,000 fans through the gate, appearances by Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and Stormtroopers, a fireworks show and an auction of the Cardinals’ one of a kind Star Wars Jerseys.
For more information about the United Way, its new offices and the new fundraising season, visit unitedwayofwashingtoncountytn.org or the United Way of Washington County, TN page on Facebook.