United Way Changing Lives in Region 8 - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro -- Heather Flanigan Reports

United Way Changing Lives in Region 8

September 17, 2004 – Posted at 4:34 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO -- The United Way raised more than $4 billion dollars last year for communities across America. This year's annual fundraiser kicked off today and volunteers in Region 8 went to work for a good cause.

John Edwards normally works for the Federal Aviation Administration, but on Friday, he’s just another volunteer helping to give the Literacy League a facelift. He's been helping the Jonesboro United Way for the last decade.

“There’s nothing that we are doing that's extraordinary or beyond the call. It's one day out of our lives that's going to affect people for a long time to come,” said Edwards as stood on a ladder painting.

Tom Templeton, Director of the Literacy League said, “It's probably been over 10 years since any real painting has happened. We're giving it a new facelift, hopefully brightening it up so it will look a little better.”

More than 300 people showed up for Friday’s 11th Annual Day of Caring. Many of these people will spend all across Jonesboro volunteering their services, everything from painting to cosmetology lessons.

“It's about matching up what the agencies need with the right volunteers. We have to look at the expertise of the volunteers as well as how many people they might have,” said Jonesboro United Way Executive Director Kevin Lawrence.

The Jonesboro United Way has raised about $220,000 dollars, well on the way to their goal of $760,000 dollars. It’s money that stays in Region 8; the organization distributes those funds to fourteen local agencies.

“Most of it stays here locally. $.99 cents out of every dollar stays here to go directly to the community,” said Lawrence.

For folks like Templeton, volunteers for the United Way really make a difference.

“It looks like we'll have the whole thing done by today and if I were to have done it, it would have taken me a couple of weeks,” laughed Templeton.

To donate to the United Way or get involved by volunteering, call (870) 935-3658.

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