Living United: Agency gives nod to partners, campaign contributors
Clinton, S.C. – The United Way of Laurens County held its first Annual Campaign Kick-off and Awards Dinner since the pandemic forced its cancellation the last two years, and several workplaces left with awards for their efforts to keep services going to their various partner agencies. In addition, Board member and long time volunteer Sharon O’Bryant received the C. Bailey Dixon Award for Volunteerism and Philanthropy.
The agency highlighted several of its partner agencies. They include United Ministries of Clinton, Beyond Abuse, SC Empowerment Centre, Salvation Army of Greenwood, Laurens County Safe Home, Laurens County Cancer Association and Piedmont Agency on Aging.
“We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to quarterly fund and work with partner agencies serving Laurens County residents through 12 programs in the areas of health, education, financial stability and emergency relief,” United Way of Laurens County Executive Director Alesia Carter said. “These agencies, their staff and volunteers are working hard to create and maintain these programs that help so many people and families.”
The agency also implemented three community gardens in Clinton, Gray Court and Waterloo. Federal USDA grant funds will soon allow for expansions of those, Carter said. It’s important because the gardens provide more fresh produce in food desert communities.
Drawing on the expertise of a volunteer master gardener, the gardens will be expanded to increase the fresh produce options for many in the communities.
“We plan to create two more garden sites within the county and add to the sites we have, especially the one in Clinton,” Carter said. “We’ll be able to hold workshops and teach better nutrition.”
County residents also benefited when UWLC was approved by the United Way of South Carolina for a large Housing Stability Grant.
“We had the option to pass some of those funds on as sub-grants, and we awarded those to five partner agencies which work directly with Laurens County residents facing housing instability,” Carter said.
One of those agencies, Family Promise of Laurens County, assists families with children facing homelessness, and a portion of the funds was used to hire a program graduate, Shenitra Adams, as the agency’s children’s case manager.
“She’s a wonderful addition to our staff,” Family Promise Director Mary Lynn Tollison said, “She has lived the experience our clients are facing.”
For information on the United Way of Laurens County and its work to support the partner agencies, as well as to donate or volunteer, go to www.uwlc-online.org.