Local officials kick off United Way fundraising campaign
by Daniel Gaddy
Sep 07, 2012 | 1655 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gordon Martin, a senior vice president at Alabama Power and this year’s campaign chairman for United Way, talks with Walker Area Community Foundation President Paul Kennedy Thursday. Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
Gordon Martin, a senior vice president at Alabama Power and this year’s campaign chairman for United Way, talks with Walker Area Community Foundation President Paul Kennedy Thursday. Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
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Officials from the Walker County Chapter of the United Way of Central Alabama kicked off their 2012 fundraising campaign with a goal of $1,040,000 for the 12-week campaign.

Kevin Callahan, campaign chairman for Walker County, announced the goal during the United Way Luncheon held at the Community Health Systems Activities Center in Jasper on Thursday.

Gordon Martin, Alabama Power senior vice president and campaign chairman for the United Way of Central Alabama, served as the guest speaker for the event.

Martin said more than 17,000 Walker County residents have been helped by United Way partners since 2009.

Local groups receiving United Way funding include the Arc of Walker County, American Red Cross of Walker County, the Black Warrior Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Walker County Salvation Army, Daybreak and Beacon House.

There are a total of 10 agencies located in Walker County that are helped by United Way funding, and 20 more agencies outside the county serve county residents.

Martin said United Way of Central Alabama seeks to help those in need through four major areas: education, health, income and access to services.

Martin pointed to United Way programs like financial literacy courses that get people out of a cycle of poverty and dependence.

Martin said UWCA officials have established walking school bus programs and refrigerated food trucks that bring fresh fruits and vegetables to so called “food deserts.”

Martin ended his speech by sharing stories from Walker County residents who have been helped by programs supported by United Way.

They included a story about a three-year-old who suffered a debilitating head injury during the April 27 tornadoes.

Martin said the child has made amazing progress thanks to the medical staff of Children’s Hospital — one of the more than 80 programs to which UWCA donates.

“What you are making possible, through your gifts to the United Way, is truly saving lives,” he said to the crowd.