United Way of Greenville County hosted a rousing pep rally-style kick off to its annual campaign today at the Greenville Convention Center, when it hosted attendees from hundreds of companies and organizations at the “Stronger United Rally for Community Change.”
The annual event serves as an inspiring launch to United Way’s campaign, which raises funds to help more than 100,000 people each year with basic needs, education and financial stability. Greenville poet, spoken word artist and educator Moody Black created and shared a poem specifically for the campaign season, capturing United Way’s role in the community and the Stronger United theme.
This year, Campaign Chair Calvin Calhoun of SunTrust Bank, Vice Chair Yobany Banks-McKay of UPS, Greenville Early College Principal Marjon Ford, and United Way President and CEO Meghan Barp energized attendees to deepen their support and become more involved with the work to solve complex local issues, including poverty, education, transportation and affordable housing.
As Calhoun noted, “While Greenville County is an amazing place to live for many of us, nearly 60,000 of our neighbors are living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet. Over 1,000 Greenville County School students were homeless last year; and 50% of students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. That’s why United Way’s programs and partners are so vital to help build a community where everyone can thrive.”
“One of the best things about this rally is seeing so many people in our community unite for a common cause, working together to address issues and change lives,” said Barp. “The creativity, generosity and caring of the corporate leaders, local businesses, community agencies and thousands of volunteers and donors who work hard all year to tear down barriers to success for others in our community is truly inspiring. While we’ve achieved so much already, there is still much more to be done to ensure every person in Greenville County has the resources and support they need to succeed.”
The Stronger United Rally for Change also featured performances by the Tanglewood Middle School dance team, as well as the National Anthem sung by the Lead Academy Choir. Local personality JDew served as the event emcee. The Travelers Rest High School pep band entertained attendees before and during the event, giving the venue the vibrant feel of a football tailgate party.
To find out how you or your company can get involved, call United Way at 864-467-3506. To make your community gift online, click here.