Community

United Way reports on a year’s worth of community building

United Way of Escambia County's annual meeting highlights nonprofit's community impact as fiscal year closes

United Way of Escambia County links volunteers with groups that need help through the Day of Caring and other projects. Credit: United Way of Escambia County.

United Way of Escambia County is closing out its fiscal year and celebrated community work that touched two out of three Escambia County citizens at First Baptist Church of Pensacola on Aug. 25.

“Great things happened because we chose to LIVE UNITED,” said United Way CEO Andrea Krieger.

United Way of Escambia County hosted service day events to raise money to help families hit by the impact of tornadoes in spring 2016. Credit: United Way of Escambia County.

United Way of Escambia County hosted service day events to raise money to help families hit by the impact of tornadoes in spring 2016. Credit: United Way of Escambia County.

As part of the nonprofit’s annual report, donors gave $3.8 million and more than 40,000 volunteer hours to improve the educational, health and financial stability of Escambia County citizens.

According to United Way, more than 190,000 people were helped using funding from United Way to its partner agencies.

United Way’s chairman, David Peaden, was recognized the contributions of following individuals and organizations:
— RAYELL IRISH, COLOR A BRIGHTER WORLD:  Stacey Kostevicki, Gulf Coast Kid’s House.
— PARTNER AGENCY OF THE YEAR:  Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast.
— BUSINESS PARTNER OF THE YEAR: Gulf Power Co.
— UNITED WAY SERVICE AWARD: Deb Moore.
— DISTINGUISHED COMMUNITY SERVICE: Pam and Harry Schwartz.
— VOLUNTEER GROUP OF THE YEAR: Publix Supermarkets.
— FREE TAX ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR: Marie Strevey.
— DAY OF CARING VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR: Jamie Cochran, Lutheran Services Florida.
United Way leadership shared their gratitude for the 3,637 community volunteers who donated over 41,738 hours of service to make this work possible. Serving through initiatives like Day of Caring, Free Tax Assistance Programs, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Cram the Van and ReadingPals, volunteer labor was equivalent to a $962,884 gift of time.

As the fiscal year closes, United Way noted that $1 million in grants were awarded to 47 programs and 31 local nonprofit agencies to boost the education, health and financial stability of Escambia County.

Also:

— $625,545 was given to support local families impacted by 2014 floods and the two EF3 tornados that devastated our community in February of this year.

— $417,838 was designated by donors to support 152 agencies

— $221,327 went to community initiatives that included Achieve Escambia, Christmas Wishes, ReadingPals, Communities Caring at Christmas, Cram the Van, Congressional Art Awards, HSAC, Publix Emergency Fund, Regency Hospice and Tummy Bundles.

The 2016-2017 board directors, also announced at the Aug. 25 meeting, will be: David Peaden (Chair), Yvette McLellan (Chair-Elect), Cathy England (Treasurer), Jo McArthur (Secretary).

United Way of Escambia County offers free tax help through the VITA program. Credit: United Way of Escambia County.

United Way of Escambia County offers free tax help through the VITA program. Credit: United Way of Escambia County.

The committee chairs are Tammy Davies (Women’s Leadership Council Chair), Cedric Durre (Co-Chair Community Investment), John Floyd (Community Investment Chair), Wes Hudgens (Nominating Chair), Jack Lowrey (Campaign Chair), Trip Maygarden (Community Impact Chair), Amy Miller (Campaign Co-chair), Deb Moore (Advocacy/211 Chair) and Tim Putman (United Way Agency Director’s Association Chair).

Board Members elected to continued service included: Meri Asmar, Brett Bennett, KC Gartman, Brian Matson, Tim Putman, Michelle Scaglione, Matthew Shook, Oliver Sumlin, Jonathan Taylor, Malcolm Thomas, Bruce Vredenburg and Patrice Whitten.

Board Members serving their first term for United Way include:  Brian Baumgardner, Scott Ginnetti, Genevieve Harper, John Hosman, John Isbell, Jo McArthur and Tim Stronko.