Hopkins County United Way thanked the many individuals who have committed to volunteering their time as workers in this year’s campaign, which kicked off with a special workers luncheon hosted Wednesday by Southwest Dairy Museum.
“You guys are important to United Way. I thank you for the great work you do,” said HCUW Campaign Chairman Chris Voorheese.
He recognized Gordon Frazier, a faithful campaign worker, for getting the city of Sulphur Springs’ pledges for this year’s campaign counted and turned in.
Voorheese said that like the five people who started United Way organization in 1888 — a woman, a rabbi, a priest and two pastors — the common thread among each of the campaign workers is a “servant’s heart” to help others. He encouraged each to take action like those founding members to do “the Lord’s work.”
He noted that this year’s campaign goal has been set at $155,000, just $5,000 more than last year. In fact, this year marks the first time that the campaign goal has been raised since 2008, when then-chairman John Sellers raised the goal to $150,000. The goal was met then, and Voorheese said he was confident that it could be attained this year too.
The campaign chair reminded that 99 percent of the funds raised from the $155,000 campaign “stay in Hopkins County.” The funds are allocated for 19 agencies — three more than last year — to help “fund work they need to do.” Those three new recipients — Mothers Against Drunk Driving, The Dinner Bell and Winnsboro Community Resource Center — account for an additional $2,500 of the $5,000 increase.
This year, packets will be distributed to 45 new businesses. That’s 45 potential donators that either didn’t exist or weren’t approached by HCUW last year.
The workers were challenged by The Way Bible Church Pastor Joel Tiemeyer, the featured speaker Wednesday, to be the champion for others. He showed a video of a man taking his disabled son with him as he competed in a triathalon-type race, carrying his son and pushing him at times, so that the son could do compete in and finish the race. He challenged HCUW campaign workers to be like the father, to keep going and pushing forward, making that extra effort to go back to potential donors to collect donations to help those served by HCUW.
“Don’t quit. Don’t stop,” Tiemeyer encouraged. “That $50 from this one business giving could do for someone else what they can’t do for others.”
Tiemeyer also encouraged workers to not approach the campaign as a need to meet a monetary goal, but who can be picked up and carried across that finish line.
Tiemeyer said he knew how small acts of support can change a life. He said someone made such a huge impact when he was 6 years old. His family had moved from Michigan to Texas and had very little. At Easter, someone from LouNell’s showed such an act of kindness. They brought new suits for Tiemeyer and his brothers and a new dress for his sister. It changed his way of thinking and gave him hope.
“They did for me what no one else could do for me, they transformed a life at 6 years old,” Tiemeyer said. “When you turn in a packet to United Way, you never know who you’re giving an opportunity to that no one else could.
“There are 45 new businesses. Don’t look at the size of packets. Look at who you are carrying across the finish line. Don’t look at the dollar amount but as change for someone else to do what they can’t,” Tiemeyer recommended.
“I am so grateful for, truly grateful, for each of you. I look at the list [of campaign workers] and see ones who do reach out, have been reaching out for United Way for a long time. There are new ones joining us for the first time. Thank you,” said HCUW Executive Secretary Susan Berning of preparations for the kickoff and packet distribution which covered most of the available space in her home. “I looked at each of your names and know who I need to give each one to, who you are, the way you reach out to the community for United Way. Most will have 10 to 15 businesses to contact. I tried to keep in mind who was a good fit. Most of you know and do this very, very well”
Campaign workers were reminded that weekly report meetings will be held at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays in October at Texas AgriLife Extension Office starting Oct. 8.
Also, HCUW’s annual hamburger cookout will be held just off the square in the parking lot between Alliance and City National banks Friday, Oct. 18.
For more information about HCUW, contact any campaign worker, Campaign Chairman Chris Voorheese, President Judy Tipping, or Executive Secretary Susan Berning, or call campaign headquarters, 903-243-4066.
Donations to HCUW may also be sent to HCUW Campaign Headquarters, P.O. Box 735, Sulphur Springs, Texas 75483.
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