The United Way of York County celebrated its 75th year of serving the community Tuesday with a campaign kick-off.
The 2017-2018 campaign aims to raise $1.53 million for York County organizations. Former South Carolina Sen. Wes Hayes chaired the 50th anniversary campaign in 1992 and returns to chair the 75th.
Hayes has been involved in the United Way since about 1989, he said.
“It's a way for the people in the community to help themselves and help others,” Hayes said. “It's locally owned and operated, I like to say.”
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This year, the United Way is implementing a new funding model.
Rebecca Milton, president of the United Way of York County, said the organization worked with Winthrop University to prepare a community needs assessment.
Through that assessment, Milton said, the United Way has pinpointed four main areas of need in the community: education, health, basic needs and financial stability.
“It all starts with being prepared early in life and getting a good education,” Milton said.
Hayes said he’s been involved with the United Way for so long because he appreciates that the money York County residents donate is spent directly helping York County families.
“Most every family in the county is touched one way or the other – probably in multiple ways – by agencies served by the United Way,” he said. “I'm just a great believer in it.”
Hayes said he told volunteers he expects to see every one of them back for the 100th anniversary in another 25 years.
“You'll have to roll me in,” he said, “but I'll be there.”
Hannah Smoot: 803-329-4068