Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

September 10, 2013

Reaching out a Hand

2014 United Way campaign kicks off

By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun

— United Way president Bryson Morrison shared a lofty goal for next year Tuesday at the kickoff luncheon held at the Corsicana Country Club.

“Last year we raised over $366,000 ...” Morrison said. “Our goal is $379,000 for 2014.”

He shared a quote from United Way which conveyed “reach out a hand to one to influence the condition of another.”

United Way of Navarro County sends out representatives into companies and businesses across Navarro County each year, and mostly through payroll deduction, raises money which funds its partner agencies. The 2014 partner agencies include American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club of Navarro County, Boy Scouts of America, Camp of the Rising Sun, Child Advocates of Navarro County, Christmas in Action, Community Services Inc., Drug Prevention Resources Inc., Family Abuse Center,  Family Service Association, Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas, Navarro County Meals on Wheels, Navarro County Food Pantry Ministry and YMCA of Corsicana.

Eric Meyers of Oil City Iron Works said that United Way is by far the most important charity to which his employees donate.

“We don’t ask them, they come to us (about signing up to donate),” he said. “People ask how we get our folks to sign up, and there’s no secret to it. They see the good that United Way does. It speaks for itself, and the organizations speak for themselves. We’re only as good as our employees. We’re going to match what our employees do and over, and are kicking off our campaign at Oil City today.”

Lori Haynie, co-chair of the event, thanked Meyers for leading by example, then introduced Roger Thornton from True Value.

“It’s great to hear Eric talk about the enthusiasm...” Thornton said. “Corsicana True Value has had some turnover with associates and supervisors, but one thing that is consistent is our participation in United Way.”

Thornton said employees gather as a group to make their pledges, and there’s a special program for the 36 drivers to join in too. True Value will offer vouchers good for purchase of goods in the warehouse for pledges, and also host a lunch for everyone who pledges, regardless of the amount. A United Way T-shirt event proved to be very successful in putting True Value over its goal of fundraising.

“Not only do our associates wear the T-shirts to work, they wear them out into the  community, to Wal-Mart, and represent United Way,” he said.

Corsicana newcomer Jeremy Chapell with HEB spoke on behalf of the H-E-Butt Company, since Mike Fletcher, HEB store manager is on the UW board. Chapell shared some background about the company, including the fact it opened in 1905.

“One unique thing about HEB is that we give five percent of our pre-tax earnings to charity,” Chapell said. “We try to give back to the community in a variety of ways.

“And we appreciate you keeping us around for these 100-plus years.”

Chapell shared about one associate at HEB who is an hourly employee, with a small weekly wage, who donates $30 of that each week to United Way. HEB in Corsicana raises about $30,000 each year for United Way Navarro County.

“Thanks for welcoming me to the community,” he said. “I’ve only been here about 10 months, but I’m loving it.”

Kimberly Rainey, Minister of Benevolence and Missions at Northside Baptist Church, and first vice president of United Way Navarro County, said the agency looks forward to scheduling its campaign at each business in Corsicana and Navarro County and showing its new campaign video.



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Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer and editor of Explore magazine. Want to sound off on this story? Email soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com.