Public Meets The Charities Behind United Way

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - If people know more, they'll give more. That is the hope of the United Way chapter that serves Jackson and George Counties. On Thursday, the United Way held an event in Gautier to allow people to learn more about the two dozen non-profits the organization supports.

Backpack Buddies says its mission is to make sure that the school cafeteria isn't the only place children in the Pascagoula school district can eat a healthy meal.

"The teachers will tell you that there is a real need. There are a lot of children who are hungry," said co-chairperson Bob McDonald. "They come to school and the teacher may notice they're complaining of a tummy ache when really they're hungry."

Twenty-three non-profit agencies spent time talking to the people of Jackson and George County. The United Way is hoping this get-to-know-you session will help the agency reach its $2 million goal.

Carolyn Moore is the chief professional officer of the United Way of Jackson and George Counties.

"You see your United Way dollars in action. I feel like people will be able to give more and be compelled to give more just when they see their money in action. "

The Gulf Coast Women's Center For Non-violence also receives United Way dollars. In fact, officials say the bulk of the funding for its 24-hour counseling program for sexual assault victims comes from United Way.

"It's a huge difference," said Kaye Harris. "We probably would not have a sexual assault program without the support of the United Way. "

So far, United Way of Jackson and George counties has raised $1.2 million of the $2 million it hopes to have by early November. Officials say this year's goal amount is higher than last year's.