HED:Alcorn County launches 1999 United Way drive

CATEGORY: Charities

AUTHOR: SUMMER

HED:Alcorn County launches 1999 United Way drive

By Jane Clark Summers

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – National United Way spokesperson Tony Morris helped kick off the 1999 fund-raising drive for the Corinth and Alcorn County campaign Tuesday.

“Imagine What We Can Do Together” is the theme of this year’s campaign, said local drive Chairman Tony Childs.

Just imagine if everyone in Alcorn County gave their fair share, he said, the United Way program could support more agencies, create a more caring community and help ensure that no one goes hungry.

Since the kickoff was held earlier this year, budgeting for the 19 United Way agencies isn’t complete and, therefore, a goal for 1999 hasn’t been set, Childs said.

Betsy Whitehurst, United Way executive director, said the agency hopes to top last year’s pledges of $438,000, which exceeded that year’s goal of $425,000.

“I am confident that we will surpass the 1998 pledges,” Childs said.

Morris’ pilgrimage

Morris held the audience spellbound as he related childhood experiences of unbelievable abuse and neglect in Chicago and told of his abandonment at age 14 on a roadside in Lee County.

Taken in at the Alpha House in Tupelo, Morris said he learned discipline and respect for others.

He graduated with honors from Tupelo High School and went on to Mississippi State University, where he received a degree in electrical engineering. He has been employed at NASA for 13 years.

Morris has become a national spokesperson for United Way because of the help he received at the Alpha House, a Lee County United Way agency. He is featured in a recently released video to be seen this year by thousands of federal employees who take part in the Combined Federal Campaign, from which United Way benefits.

United Way of Corinth and Alcorn County supports the following organizations:

American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club of Corinth, Boy Scouts, Corinth-Alcorn County Literacy Council, Corinth Welfare Association, the Corinth YMCA, Down Syndrome Association, 4-H Clubs, FFA, FHA/HERO, First Call for Help, Girl Scouts, Hospice Volunteer Training, Lighthouse Foundation, Project Attention, S.A.F.E., Single Parent/Displaced Homemakers program, S.N.A.P. and the Southern Poison Center.

To learn more about the United Way program or how to participate in the campaign, call Whitehurst at 286-6500.