Turnover at lo­cal United Way

The board is hop­ing to in­crease its pro­file (and giv­ing) across the com­mu­nity.

Rome News-Tribune - - NEWS - By Doug Walker DWalker@RN-T.com

Not only has United Way of Rome and Floyd County Di­rec­tor Rich Lamp­kin re­signed, but long­time mar­ket­ing and fund rais­ing as­sis­tant Brooks Smith has also ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion. United Way Board Chair­man Bryan Shealy said the ex­ec­u­tive board of the United Way is hav­ing to step up and man­age day-to-day op­er­a­tions of the agency un­til new lead­er­ship is brought on board.

Shealy said the board of the United Way had dwin­dled to just a hand­ful of work­ing mem­bers, but has been re­built over the last sev­eral months. The United Way has not had as high a pro­file in the com­mu­nity as it once had, even though it still sup­ports agen­cies, many of them highly de­pen­dent on the United Way for large seg­ments of their an­nual bud­get.

“I was a lit­tle but sur­prised when I was talk­ing to a lady who I knew very well the other day who is right at 40, and she said, ‘I know the term United Way but I can’t tell you what they do,’” Shealy said. He said a lot of peo­ple un­der the age of 40 may have heard about the United Way but have very lit­tle con­cept of what the agency does.

“We’ve got to get the word out,” Shealy said.

The United Way is cur­rently in the midst of its an­nual cam­paign.

Shealy said that board mem­bers will also be con­tact­ing all of the lo­cal agen­cies to tell them that it’s go­ing to be busi­ness as usual and the agency is plan­ning to con­tinue for­ward.

North­west Ge­or­gia Boy Scouts Ex­ec­u­tive Jeff Brasher said his or­ga­ni­za­tion re­ceives fund­ing from the Rome, Dal­ton, Cal­houn and Cartersville United Way cam­paigns and it amount to about 11 per­cent of his an­nual bud­get. The scout ex­ec­u­tive added Lamp­kin and Smith had both been very good to the Boys Scouts through the years. Brasher said fund­ing has re­mained steady in re­cent years but re­al­izes that more agen­cies are seek­ing for from the United Way and that there was a lim­ited pool of money to draw from.

Lo­cal YMCA Ex­ec­u­tive Scott McCre­less said that United Way fund­ing, a lit­tle over $30,000 ac­counts for about two per­cent of his bud­get. “We’ve al­ways had a good re­la­tion­ship with the United Way,” McCre­less said. “Funds we get from the United Way help us keep kids in camp, keep­ing kids in mem­ber­ships, putting kids in youth sports pro­grams as well as se­nior adults who want mem­ber­ships,” McCre­less said.

Shealy said a lot has changed when it comes to char­i­ta­ble giv­ing.

“There used to be a lot of com­pe­ti­tion be­tween one com­pany and an­other to have greater giv­ing per­cent­ages, greater amounts given, and those type of things seem to have gone by the way­side,” Shealy said. “We know that our giv­ing ef­forts have to change and our so­lic­i­ta­tion ef­forts have to change We’ve got to have some new fun ideas and new ways of think­ing.”

Shealy said the search for new lead­er­ship will be both lo­cal and na­tional.

“There may be a di­rec­tor or as­sis­tant di­rec­tor some­where that wants a change of cli­mate,” he said.

The United Way pro­vides sup­port for the lo­cal chap­ter of the Amer­i­can Red Cross, the Boy Scouts’ North­west Ge­or­gia Coun­cil, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Ex­change Club Fam­ily Re­source Cen­ter, the Girls Scouts, Hos­pi­tal­ity House, Mercy Se­nior Care, the Open Door Home, The Sal­va­tion Army, YMCA, Cave Spring Day­care, Net­work Day Ser­vice Cen­ter, Re­becca Blay­lock Child De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter, Se­nior Adult Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, STAR House, House of the Chil­dren Academy, Sum­mit Quest and the Rome-Floyd County Com­mis­sion on Chil­dren and Youth.

Bryan Shealy

Scott McCre­less

Rich Lamp­kin

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