United Way kicks off 75th anniversary campaign

The United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore kicked off its annual cmpaign last Thursday. From left, Courtney Hastings, Willie Downing, Dalencia Jenkins, Claire Otterbein, Creig Twilley, Dr. Bryan Newton, Amanda Hailey, Pam Gregory and Candice Schreopfer.

United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore recently held the “Together We LIVE UNITED” Virtual Campaign Kickoff to launch its 2020-2021 campaign season.

The event took on a virtual format to keep staff and attendees safe during the pandemic, and was broadcast live via Facebook and YouTube, thanks to PAC14.

The main sponsor was TidalHealth, with additional support from Perdue Farms, Avery Hall Insurance Group, PNC Bank and First Shore Federal.

This year’s event started with a recap of United Way’s 75th Anniversary celebration by Dr. Bryan Newton, Chairman of the Board of Directors, followed by President & CEO Pam Gregory sharing about the organization’s transition of operations during the pandemic.

Newton and Gregory asked viewers to support UWLES during these difficult times.

“Now, more than any time in our 76-year history, our community needs to come together,” said Newton. “Any size gift matters and makes a real difference for our neighbors right here on the Lower Shore.”

The kickoff event also featured segments from United Way partners, corporate supporters and community members.

Special messages from Epoch Dream Center, Worcester Youth and Family Counseling and the Salvation Army Lower Shore, along with some client testimonials, shared the impact and importance of United Way’s partnership, annual funding, and the LIVE UNITED Response Fund, which helps partners adapt to challenges due to Covid-19.

“United Way and our partners are stepping up in countless ways as more neighbors need assistance and as many families are seeking help for the first time,” said Gregory. “As the pandemic continues, it will continue to strain how nonprofits can fundraise and engage volunteers, but these resources are critical to ensure needs can be addressed while still adapting to keep staff and clients safe,” she said.

For this year’s campaign, as many companies continue to work remotely, UWLES offers secure, online workplace campaign portals, customized for each organization who participates. Giving online through a workplace portal enables donors to give via payroll deduction, debit or credit card, or print pledge forms for cash or check gifts.

It’s fast, safe and designed with busy schedules and convenience in mind. A comprehensive online toolkit and virtual presentations are also available. The UWLES team can also provide socially distanced presentations and traditional materials as needed.

Organizations of any size can offer employees an easy and affordable way to get involved and support the local community simply by contacting UWLES at 410-742-5143.

Anyone in the community may support the campaign with easy ways to give beyond the workplace, too: There are online giving options available through the local United Way website, or gifts can be mailed to United Way office at 803 North Salisbury Blvd., Suite 2100, Salisbury, MD 21801.

Additionally, UWLES now has easy mobile giving anyone can use. By texting the word TOGETHER to 26989, donors can give with several options including the new Round Up program, which can automatically “rounds up” any purchase from an enrolled credit or debit card to the nearest dollar.

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