Each year, the United Way of Southeast Georgia conducts a capital campaign that provides funds to 19 local agencies. In fact, since 2001, the agency has raised more than $5 million to help dozens of non-profit agencies offer needed services to Bulloch County residents.
The 2015 campaign, however, will offer a little different twist to the regular fundraising efforts of board members and volunteers from the United Way of Southeast Georgia — a Prize Patrol.
"Each week, we'll pick the name of someone who has signed up to be a donor this year, and they will win one of 13 prizes, one for each week of the campaign," said Bob Olliff, executive director for the Southeast Georgia chapter. "This is a great community that always supports our efforts, but a little more incentive to donate may get us a few more people to participate in the campaign."
To be eligible for the weekly Prize Patrol drawing, individuals must pledge to donate at least $50 this year to United Way. Pledges can be made through a payroll deduction through a business, or individuals may make direct donations to United Way. Donations also can be made online at www.unitedwaysega.org or by calling (912) 489-8475.
On Thursday, Julie Morrison with CORE Credit Union was the winner of the first Prize Patrol package — two 2015 season tickets to Georgia Southern home football games. In the coming weeks, Prize Patrol winners will receive a $150 Goo-Goo Car Wash gift card, a Yeti Roadie Cooler from Anderson's General Store, a gas patio heater from Lowe's and many other prizes.
"We are making a concentrated effort to get our message in front of a lot of local businesses this year," said Cliff Wildes, a banker with Farmers and Merchants in Statesboro and chairman of the local United Way board of directors. "We plan to contact businesses a little quicker in this year's campaign to make sure as many folks as possible have a chance to win the prizes."
James "Bubba" Revell is the 2015 campaign chairman, and as a deputy with the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office, Revell often experiences firsthand how the agencies that receive United Way funding help people in the community.
"I see on a regular basis how needed so many of these agencies are in helping people and families in crisis," Revell said. "Most of these agencies would not exist without the funding they receive from United Way, and our community would be worse off without them."
Currently, United Way provides funding to 19 partner agencies in Bulloch County: ACTS, American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County, Boy Scouts, Bulloch Alcohol & Drug Council, Bulloch Med Connection, CASA, Concerted Services, Family Literacy Initiative, Ferst Foundation of Bulloch County, Food Bank, Girl Scouts, GSU Senior Companion Program, Hearts & Hands Clinic, Homebound Services, Parent to Parent, Prevent Child Abuse, Safe Haven and Statesboro Library Youth and Family Program.
The 2015 campaign will run through Nov. 30, and the last Prize Patrol drawing will take place in the first week of December.
"We think this will be a really fun campaign, and it will be great handing out the prizes," Olliff said. "We appreciate all the businesses who donated the prizes. Their efforts and the donations of everyone help make Bulloch County a better place to work and live."