United Way kicks off campaign in Jackson, George counties - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

United Way kicks off campaign in Jackson, George counties

Richard Lucas, president of the United Way of Jackson & George Counties, directs a golf cart into the kickoff meeting to punctuate the "Building a United Community" theme. (Photo source: WLOX) Richard Lucas, president of the United Way of Jackson & George Counties, directs a golf cart into the kickoff meeting to punctuate the "Building a United Community" theme. (Photo source: WLOX)
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

The United Way of Jackson & George Counties knows how to play a theme. And the 2014 campaign has pulled out all the stops ... and some heavy equipment.

This year's theme is "Building a United Community." A good fit for the county's industrial base, said United Way President Richard Lucas.

"And that comes off of Jackson, George county always being construction oriented. Building, shipyards, Chevron, chemical plants. This kind of thing. We build things over here."

The organization is building a strong base. The meeting in Pascagoula attracted about 160 people, including the managers of 80 workplace campaigns, a little better than previous years, said CEO Carolyn Moore.

They have a good start toward making $2 million goal. The 17 Pacesetter companies have raised $709,415 since starting Aug. 19.

Last year, the United Way fell just $200,000 short. But officials are hopeful for the new campaign.

The midway meeting for the United Way's campaign will be Oct. 3 at the Jackson County Civic Center, and the final meeting will be Nov. 7.

Also at the kickoff, Community Impact Grants of almost $40,000 were presented. These grants were secured from donations last year and have been presented every year since 2005 when United Way decided to go above and beyond to help programs in addition to the 21 agencies already funded."

One of those agencies was the Girl Scouts. April Edwards, a community membership specialist with the group, said the $10,000 will be used to launch a new educational program to combat a big problem: bullying.

"It's about how to stop bullying," she said. "It's how to be a friend first. It's to teach them courage, character, confidence and how to be leaders in today's world."

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