January 2022 Newsletter
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
On Monday we again honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we reflect upon this upcoming remembrance, we are struck by how foundational Dr. King’s teachings are to our United Way mission, both the United Way of Central Georgia as well as the entire movement of 1,200 local United Ways across the country. 
Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'” One way to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy is by committing to volunteer with United Way, especially in our Read United program. Tutoring a K-3rd grader for only one hour a week will have a transformational impact on their enjoyment and performance in school, and set them up for continued academic success, which then leads to success in life. And we promise you it will have a profoundly positive impact on you as well. 
On Dr. King’s birthday, and any day, we ask that you heed the call to Live United, to help people in Central Georgia attain the fundamental building blocks of a good life: a quality education, a well-paying job, and good health. 
A Special Note From UWCG's President & CEO
Our 15th annual United Way-Jeff Smith Auto Raffle is in the books. This year we set a record by selling 5,406 tickets and raising $189,210!!! Congratulations to all our 2022 raffle winners: Cedric Corbin from Macon is the lucky winner of a brand-new vehicle, Jack Myers of Warner Robins won the National Championship trip package, and the two $500-gift-card winners are Judy Mobley of Byron and Catherine Beatty of Macon. 

But everyone who purchased a ticket is a winner for helping to support United Way of Central Georgia in the critical work we do, along with our 29 program partner agencies. It is amazing how far your $35 can go to help our community. It will provide: a homebound senior delivered meals for a week, a school uniform for a student or a month’s worth of diapers for a baby in low-income, a week’s worth of food for a struggling family of four, or a book each month for a year sent to a child enrolled in our Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. There is much more that these funds will support, and your ticket purchase is transformative in the lives who are in need in Central Georgia. 

There is a vast and wonderful team we have working together to make this raffle a success. First and foremost is Mr. Jeff Smith, without him this would not be possible. He is an incredible human being and genuinely cares about those who need support. Jeff donates 100% of the cost of the vehicle, and after this year we have raised just under $1,250,000. That’s a lot of $35 tickets! Ricardo Planells is one of Jeff’s team key leaders and the man who ensures everything runs smoothly while we are on-site at Jeff Smith Ford, during the telethon. 

The telethon would not be successful were it not for WMAZ, and specifically Jeff Dudley, Greg Oliver, and Ray Fountain. Over half of all ticket sales were sold from the time we first went on the air Thursday afternoon through the following Friday afternoon drawing. The live TV portion of the telethon is what makes the phones ring! A big shout out to country radio icon Jimmy Carter, who joined us again and partners with me to co-emcee the live telethon. Each year, several local banks take on the work of pre-sale tickets located in multiple branches for access to in-person purchases. Much appreciation to Cadence Bank, MidSouth Community Federal Credit Union, Robins Financial Credit Union, and Synovus for providing this valuable service. Many thanks to all the volunteers who give of their time answering the incoming phones. As always, our United Way staff steps up and does whatever it takes to get the job done. And finally, thanks to our media partners: WMGT, Fox24/ABC16, Cox, iHeart Media, and The Telegraph. More people told me this year they saw our raffle promotions and that is a direct result of the exposure our local media gives us.

My apology for the long recap, but there are many moving parts to this effort. Thanks again to everyone who purchased a ticket(s) and on behalf of those who will benefit from your generosity, a sincere thank you for giving each of them the opportunity for a better life in the coming new year!
George McCanless, President and CEO, United Way of Central Georgia
OneSouth Bank Wraps Holiday Gifts & Serves Meals
OneSouth Bank volunteered at the Brookdale Resource Center to wrap holiday gifts and to serve meals. Several of the OneSouth Bank employees became Santa’s helpers by wrapping holiday gifts donated by our community for residents of the Center. And on both Wednesday and Thursday evenings, OneSouth volunteers returned to the Center to serve dinner to the residents. United Way and the Center are so appreciative and thankful to OneSouth Bank volunteers who gave of their time to wrap gifts and serve meals!
BASF Transports Donated Mattresses
BASF’s volunteer efforts are greatly appreciated at the Brookdale Resource Center! During the month of December, BASF employees transported a donation of mattresses from Mercer University’s Housing and Residence Life. And while at the Center, the volunteers assisted with sorting donations and serving dinner. BASF also brought donations to add to the Center’s holiday collection drive including blankets, toys, coats, and hygiene items. Residents at the Center are so excited and already using the new items, especially the full-size blankets! THANK YOU BASF!
Christmas Eve Pajama Party
Christmas is truly a magical time for everyone, but the excitement of the holiday is so special for a child. Thanks to the efforts of Brookdale Resource Center Director Alison Bender and her staff plus many volunteers the children and families at the Center had their own Christmas Eve Pajama Party. Two very special guests arrived Santa and Mrs. Claus (the Robinsons), and an appearance by Buddy the Elf assisted Santa in giving out the presents to the children to help make it an extra fun evening. The Merrie Christmas Project made sure every child had a bag of gifts from Santa and there were games and activities for children and adults. Many thanks to Santa and Mrs. Claus for making sure the Center was one of their many stops on Christmas Eve!
Be the Good
Live United
Everyone deserves opportunities to have a good life: basic needs (food, housing, clothing, employment, etc.), a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health.
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United Way of Central Georgia is a leading funder of health and human services that have a measurable impact in fourteen Central Georgia counties and improve the lives of more than 100,000 local people annually. Contact us today!