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Rowan County United Way reaches 40 percent of campaign goal

SALISBURY — Rowan County United Way has reached 40.2 percent of its 2018 campaign goal, officials said Wednesday at the agency’s second report meeting at Gerry Wood Honda.

Division leaders reported how much they have raised in pledges and what percentage of their goal they have met. Several said they had 100 percent participation at their workplace or had already surpassed their goal.

The total raised is $642,439.53.

“Every day, this time of year particularly, our volunteers are doing all they can to raise the resources needed to enable our agencies and partners for doing the wonderful work that they do,” said John Struzick, campaign chairman.

Many speakers talked about the momentum to meet and exceed their goals for the “Every Day, the United Way” campaign. The 2018-19 goal is $1.6 million. 

Wilson Cherry, director of community affairs at Rowan Vocational Opportunities, said the work the United Way and its partner agencies do for the community is invaluable.

“The most important thing they taught me is a hand extended to give is always in the best position to receive,” Cherry said. “I can never repay the Salvation Army or the rescue squad or the Literacy Council or Communities in Schools or Trinity Living Center. Each and every one of the agencies that have been there to make Salisbury-Rowan County a better place to work and a better place to live.”

Juana Garcia Cruz, a student at the Rowan Literacy Council, said the agency has helped her learn English in order to earn a GED at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

“I feel grateful that the Literacy Council gives me the best teachers, and I feel very happy to participate,” Garcia Cruz said. “Also, I want to tell you for who this is the second language, with good efforts and dedication, you can learn.”

Garcia Cruz said she hopes to open a business.

Wendy Wilson spoke about how Trinity Living Center has helped her mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Wilson said when people in the community ask about her mother’s health and well-being, she tells them she knows her mother is OK.

“People respond ‘such a shame’ she has no quality of life,” Wilson said. “My mother has binocular vision. She’s almost deaf. She can’t feed herself. She can’t do anything for herself. And yet my response is always she has a wonderful quality of life. She just doesn’t know it, and the reason is because she attends Trinity Living Center five days a week.”

Michael King, a scoutmaster and pastor in East Spencer, told how scouting has given kids in his community an opportunity that they would otherwise not have.

“Scouting has helped us in our community with young folk who don’t have anything to do,” King said, adding scouting is the best-kept secret in the county.

Struzick said the agencies sharing stories of how they have helped Rowan County are an indication of the importance of the “Every Day, the United Way” campaign.

“If what we’re telling you today is any indication of where your United Way dollars are going, I hope you’ll take the message out and spread it to everyone that you know,” Struzick said. “What you’re doing here is really good work. What these agencies are doing is really good work.”

For more information about the United Way campaign or to donate, visit www.rowanunitedway.org/campaign.

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