United Way of
Suwannee Valley



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Presbyterians Donate Flood Clean-up Kits

First Presbyterian Church of Lake City received flood clean-up bucket kits and donated them for distribution to those whose homes suffered flooding as a result of Hurricane Irma. United Way of Suwannee Valley, which serves as the agency tasked in Columbia County to coordinate volunteers and donations, received the buckets and delivered them to the Richardson Community Center, which is serving as a FEMA walk-in site. The FEMA representatives will distribute the buckets to the affected households. United Way Executive Director Rita Dopp and United Way Long-Term Recovery Case Manager Lynne Hodges were assisted by the Rev. Ken Goodrich, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, and church members to load the clean-up buckets.


ReadingPals Students Take Home Books for Summer Reading

The United Way of Suwannee Valley ReadingPals early literacy initiative distributed book bags with a set of six books to each student who participated in the program.  The distribution of the book bag and books are designed to stimulate reading during the summer vacation.  Pictured are Eastside Elementary students Charlie Ripple, Carolina Croft, Cole Ring, and Eastside Principal Trey Hosford.  ReadingPals is an early literacy initiative focused on screening, training, and engaging volunteer “reading coaches.” The local United Way’s ReadingPals program supports kindergarten students to begin their school careers with the necessary literacy tutoring to overcome deficiencies which exist at the time of kindergarten entry.  Individuals interested in being a ReadingPals volunteer are provided training to prepare for tutoring a student, pass a background screening, and are provided with reading curriculum materials. For additional information on participating as a ReadingPals tutor and fostering the love of reading in children, contact Rebecca Layman, ReadingPals coordinator, at 386-752-5604 x108 or rebecca@unitedwsv.org



Publix Lake City Donates School Supplies to Homeless Children

Publix Super Market in Lake City provides school supplies for Columbia County School District Homeless Children’s Program. Annually Publix Supermarket conducts its School Tools for Cool Kids school supply program which affords customers the opportunity to contribute in support of the purchase of school supplies for students in need. School supply drive supplies contributed to United Way of Suwannee Valley by the Publix Lake City store were utilized on behalf of the Columbia County School District Homeless Children’s Program. Pictured (left to right) are Dana Huggins, Columbia County School District Homeless Liaison; Jennifer Lee, United Way of Suwannee Valley Homeless Coordinator; Erica Harriss, Publix Super Market Customer Service Assistant Manager; and Rita Dopp, United Way Executive Director.




Underneath everything we are, underneath everything we do, we are all people. Connected, interdependent, united. When we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. United Way of Suwannee Valley is a volunteer-driven community impact organization with a mission gto advance the common good through community impact initiatives and agency support.h Advancing the common good means creating opportunities for a better life for all. United Way focuses on initiatives and agency programs that make an impact on the areas of greatest need in our community. Through our work with the United Way of Suwannee Valley partner agencies and our community impact initiatives, we work every day to advance the common good and to provide a foundation of essential services. Together, united, we can inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow. Thatfs what it means to LIVE UNITED.

Herefs how you can help:

GIVE. Invest in your Community. Make a personal commitment. Invest through your companyfs campaign or personal contribution. Giving through our annual campaign is the easiest and most powerful way to invest in your community. Make your contribution in the manner most convenient for you, by p ayroll deduction, annual direct payment or through a payment schedule convenient to you with monthly or quarterly invoices. Funds raised by your United Way stay in your community.

ADVOCATE. Champion the cause. Get informed. Tell your friends. United Way needs people who are passionate about caring for their community. You can help inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow.

VOLUNTEER. We all have special talents, things we can do to help. Whether itfs reading to children, providing community agencies office support or coordinating a drive to collect items needed for United Way or community agency efforts, there are hundreds of volunteer options available.

Your United Wayfs Community Impact Initiatives

Homeless Services Network of Suwannee Valley: Your United Way is recognized by the state and the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development as the lead agency for the Homeless Services Network of Suwannee Valley, which brings together homeless service providers to coordinate services and position the community to receive grant funds in support of services for those who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness.

The HUD Continuum of Care Program application submitted by United Way of Suwannee Valley, as lead agency for the Columbia, Hamilton, Lafayette, Suwannee Counties Continuum of Care, is available for inspection upon request at the United Way office.

Community Disaster Preparedness, Recovery and Response

* Suwannee Valley Long Term Recovery Committee: Your United Way convenes and serves as staff to the Suwannee Valley Long Term Recovery Committee to assist at-risk households recover from natural disasters which impact our communities.

* Community Organizations Active in Disaster: Your United Way works with community agencies to maintain the Suwannee Valley COAD to facilitate a coordinated system of client services in response to natural disasters.

* Your United Way supports county emergency management by coordinating volunteers and donations during an emergency operations center activation.

2-1-1: Your United Way provides information and referral assistance and provides resources for the easy-to-remember number reserved nationally for information and referral services for personal and family crisis situations.

The United Way of Suwannee Valley Endowment Fund provides an opportunity for planned gifts beyond the annual campaign, gifts which can support our community in perpetuity. Please consider United Way of Suwannee Valley in your financial planning, in your will or in your estate planning. If you do, please let us know, so that we may properly thank you.


United Way of Suwannee Valley

Serving Columbia, Hamilton, Lafayette and Suwannee counties

325 NE Hernando Ave. , Lake City, FL 32055-4019

Phone: (386) 752-5604