During these times of anxiety and uncertainty, there are people who need help, and even the groups who help them need a boost too.

With that in mind, the United Way of Thomas County — with the assistance of Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward Jr. — kicked off its annual campaign Wednesday at The Plaza restaurant. 

The goal is to raise $235,000. But the United Way of Thomas County will attempt to exceed that mark.

The money the United Way of Thomas County raises goes to supports 18 local member agencies. The money raised in Thomas County stays in the community for the local agencies. 

“We are all about service,” said Gene McNease, president of the United Way of Thomas County.

Agencies seeking United Way support must present their plan to the organization’s board of directors each year. They have to account for the money they receive and show that it is reaching its intended effect.

Among the agencies the United Way of Thomas County supports are CASA Kids Program, which provides trained advocates for children who have been abused or neglected in the court system; Community Outreach Training Center, which provides resources for the homeless; Scott Senior Center; Thomasville Community Resource Center; Salvation Army; the Rescue Mission Ministries Soup Kitchen; and a dozen others aimed at helping some of the most vulnerable in the our community and in making our a community a better place to live. 

You can make a pledge of financial support to the United Way, and it is not all due at once. You choose to have your pledge directed out of your paycheck through a payroll deduction. 

Marvin Dawson, treasurer for the United Way of Thomas County, made an impassioned plea to support the United Way and in turn, the agencies and organizations it helps.

“We have a community where we help each other, we support each other, we cheer with each other, we sit down and have lunch with each other, dinner with each other. We have that special connection here,” Dawson said. "We have to make sure that we continue to do that and one of the ways we are doing it is through the United Way and the 18 agencies we are supporting. Imagine how many people and lives we are touching.”

Help the United Way of Thomas County’s campaign kickoff reach its goal line of $235,000 to make a great community even better and stronger. 

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