United Way hosts campaign kick-off with slew of other service

September 12-18, 2011

Heart of Arkansas United Way knows how to party! On Sept. 7, the organization, based in North Little Rock, welcomed the public to Dickey-Stephens Park for a fun-filled campaign kick-off. Attendees were able to glean information by visiting booths of the 38 organizations United Way currently works with. Golden Corral donated lunch and entertainer Fire & Brimstone provided entertainment.

Other sponsors included Sonic Drive-In, Sam’s Club, Chili’s and Coleman Dairy. United Way President John Nazzaro was quoted in the United Way e-newsletter: “A successful United Way campaign is very important to the quality of life in central Arkansas.” He continued, “Local health and human service agencies, such as the Arkansas Rice Depot, American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas, and the Arkansas Food bank, rely on United Way funds to carry out their missions. Last year, United Way raised over $4.2 million dollars to help people with disabilities, low-income seniors, disadvantaged youth, families-in-crisis, survivors of domestic violence, and many others. We hope to raise even more in this year’s campaign.”

I was able to drop by the event and see the plethora of organizations that make life better for citizens of Arkansas. Camp Aldersgate was set up with ‘Go Fishing’ game, which allowed participants to win prizes. In addition, Our House, Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation, Arkansas Food bank, Pathfinder, Boy and Girls Scouts of America, First Tee, Jacksonville Senior Center and Hearts and Hooves were some of the many tables I passed along the breezeway at Dickey-Stephens.

People were busy stopping by tables, picking up literature and other freebies on the table. It was really neat to see how many places there are that offers assistance for kids, families in need and senior citizens. I think every demographic was covered, even animals at Hearts and Hooves – a therapeutic riding center in Sherwood, Ark. To see the complete list of the agencies United Way supports, visit www.heartaruw.org. Denver Day, campaign manager of United Way said the organization was thrilled with attendance at the event. “Today was a great day for the community to come together to pledge to LIVE UNITED. Together we can do much more than one can do only,” Day said. “I feel today’s event inspired the public to get involved whether it be giving, advocating, or volunteering.”

On Aug. 26, Day spoke with Alyse Eady on “THV This Morning.” When prompted to talk about United Way and its role in the community, Day said, “We are a very unique nonprofit organization, in that, we don’t just focus on one particular need in the community. [United Way] provides funding for a wide range of different nonprofits. We work with organizations that support youth development like the Boys and Girls Club of Central Arkansas and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.”

They also work with disaster relief organizations like American Red Cross and Salvation Army. Day said, in total, they assist about 38 other nonprofits around central Arkansas.
Their campaign: LIVE UNITED is more than just a slogan Day said. “Living United means being part of a change. If we all work together we can truly make changes in central Arkansas.” She also pointed out that the success of the organization is not only about donated dollar bills. “Your most valuable gift is your time,” she told Eady during the morning news show. “We need volunteers now more than ever.”

To get involved or for additional information, visit www.heartaruw.org and start Living United!