United Way of Coastal Empire kicks off 2019 campaign

United Way of Coastal Empire kicks off 2019 campaign

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Thursday is a big day in the Coastal Empire for a group that supplies help and support to people facing economic and heath-related challenges.

The United Way kicked off its 2019 fundraising campaign. This year’s goal is set at $8.1 million.

Whether it’s an individual, family, or company donation, every penny stays in the Coastal Empire to benefit 87 programs across 54 nonprofit organizations in Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty counties.

“We have the Herschel V. Jenkins Trust Fund, and because of that trust fund, that covers almost all of our operating costs, so that almost all of the money raised goes directly to those in need within our community," said this year’s chairman, Ken Rabitsch with Synovus Bank.

Rabitsch says people who have been helped by the United Way become life changers, too.

“Juliette was losing her vision and she was having a hard time coping. She was introduced to a United Way funded agency. They helped her overcome her vision loss, and the big remarkable thing about that story is when she overcame those challenges, she started volunteering at that very center to help people overcome the same challenges she faced,” Rabitsch said. “Our mantra is always give, advocate, or volunteer, and our slogan this year is ‘We Are One.' We are asking everyone to have a call to action to either give, volunteer, or advocate on behalf of the United Way.”

Elizabeth Simpson with Step up Savannah receives United Way support. She sees donations turn challenges into changed lives.

“We are able to reach more people; provide a workforce development and all sorts of great things because of the United Way," Simpson said. “We are one. We are one community. We are one together, and if we work together, we can make something great!”

Click here to find out how you can give to improve lives here in the Coastal Empire.

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