Reaching for $2.25 million

United Way sets goal, launches new slogan and hosts Day of Action

The goal is set: United Way of Blount County is poised to raise $2.25 million during its fall campaign.

Denny and Cindy Mayes, co-chairs for the 2008 United Way campaign, announced the goal to a crowd of over 100 of United Way’s top contributors at a reception honoring the organization’s leadership givers.

In addition to setting the goal, the organization announced the new national and local slogan, “Live United,” which will highlight the ways people in the community live in a United Way frame of mind through giving, advocating and volunteering.

As for the campaign goal, Denny Mayes said, “Much consideration and planning by the United Way staff and our cabinet went into determining our goal. We’re just ready to go out there and get started. We live in a great community where people work together to advance the common good of all.”

Michelle Hankes, president and CEO of United Way of Blount County, echoed Mayes’ sentiments, “We know it’s an aggressive goal, but the need is greater than ever. We’re confident the people of Blount County will step up to the challenge to take care of our community.”

June has been a busy month for United Way. The organization co-sponsored the Nonprofit Training and Enrichment Seminar with the Blount County Chamber Foundation and the Center for Strong Communities at Maryville College on June 4, which drew in almost sixty different nonprofit organizations.

Also, Friday, June 20th, the organization presented a Day of Action, which proved to be an active day, indeed.

That day, United Way received several fans for its Project Cool Breeze program to distribute back into the community, the organization’s new website launched, and its Nonprofit Training and Resource Center hosted an open house while the National Kidney Foundation held free kidney screenings for the community.

Kay Garrison, program director with the Blount County Community Action Agency, is working with United Way to ensure those in need get relief from the heat.

“There are still people who just have a 110 air conditioner in one room. These people are elderly with breathing problems and heart problems,” Garrison said. “A lot of these are children, too, and doctors want them to be in an air conditioned environment.”

United Way’s new website,, launched as well that day and touts several new features, including an improved blog, interactive volunteer log-in section, and downloadable content.

Hankes hopes will become the one stop shop for information about area nonprofits.

“Our new site has all a person needs to learn about United Way and how to make Blount County stronger through giving, advocating, and volunteering,” said Hankes.

The organization’s current website,, will remain active and includes a direct link to the new website.

United Way of Blount County’s Nonprofit Training and Resource Center had several visitors at its open house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to unveil its new technologically advanced library, including a computer terminal dedicated to researching and writing grants.

Ken Smither, chairman of the Nonprofit Training and Resource Center committee, was pleased with the response.

“We had visitors from the Blount County Public Library, the Blount Chamber Foundation, the Center for Strong Communities, and others,” Smither said. “We’re so glad to spread the word about what the center is doing and plans to do in the community.”

For more information about United Way of Blount County, please call 865-982-2251 or visit

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