John McMillin: No need to be an athlete to be in this kickoff

Do you support United Way of Wilson County? Are you interested or curious about what we do?
Aug 3, 2014
John McMillin

Do you support United Way of Wilson County? Are you interested or curious about what we do? 

If your answer is yes to either question, I would suggest that you come to The Mill in Lebanon on Aug. 28 for our annual kickoff celebration. 

The event, which also is a Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce after-hours event, will be from 5-7 p.m. There’s no charge, but we do need to know who’s attending, so a phone call to our offices is all that’s needed to attend.

What exactly is a Kick-Off you ask? Good question. For us, the event, sponsored by several, generous, local companies, serves as a chance to build up excitement for the newest fundraising effort or campaign.

Why is our campaign more important than ever? Well you well know if you read this column UWWC is involved with many local programs that don’t depend on local funds, such as prescription drug benefit cards, volunteer efforts, 211 information service to give or receive help, as well as working with other United Ways across the state to “move the needle” on early education or health issues. 

Still, UWWC enlists more than 40 local volunteers who grant funds every year to deserving agencies to improve life for our community and who depend on us to raise cash.

Many of our “partner” agencies benefit everyone with no restrictions on income, such as Books from Birth, Students Taking A Right Stand or Kids on the Block. However, other partner agencies receive funds from UWWC, funds from donors like you, that help abused children and spouses, fight illiteracy, promote better education resources, combat drug use or offer grief counseling in schools when a classmate dies, make sure senior citizens have a voice while in long-term care or provide low-cost health care for those most in need. Where do these funds come from? You.

For example, mental health issues have received a lot of exposure nationally primarily because the options for treatment were reduced or are too expensive. Because of UWWC’s involvement with FamilyWize prescription drug cards, Wilson County residents have saved more than $167,000 on mental health prescriptions medications. 

On top of this, because of your donations, UWWC helps support Cumberland Mental Health Center in Lebanon, thereby setting us apart from other communities that don’t have such valuable resources. UWWC’s funding to this organization or any other partner agency isn’t large, but every dollar counts and every dollar means one more, which these incredible agencies don’t have to raise on their own.

In return, our community becomes a better place to live; we help our friends, neighbors and our own families, and we do it by ensuring that donors’ funds are protected, get where donors want them to be and are leveraged to bring in even more money to keep Wilson County a great place to live. 

That is why we kick off a new campaign year, and we hope you’ll join us in making a donation or holding a campaign at your company by calling 615-443-1871 to find out more.

John McMillin is president of the United Way of Wilson County. Email him at jmunitedway@bellsouth.net

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