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Valley United Fund kicks off 41st donation campaign

VALLEY — The 41st campaign of the Valley United Fund kicked off this past week.

The Valley United Fund is a funding vehicle for 10 organizations in the Greater Valley Area. The fund takes donations and then disseminates the collected funds through budget requests each year.

Organizations receiving funds from the Valley United Fund are the Boys & Girls Club of West Georgia and Chambers County, the Bread Basket Club, the Christian Service Center, the Circle of Care Center for Families, the Domestic Violence Intervention Center, the East Alabama Mental Health Center, the Interfaith Food Closet, Sav-a-Life, the Tri-County Children’s Advocacy Center and Valley Haven School.

Valley United Fund President Adrian Carpenter said when a person donates to the Valley United Fund, that one donation is supporting all 10 organizations.

“We’re grateful for what we’ve been blessed with, and now we want to figure out how can we extend that generosity to others,” he said.

Individuals can donate online through www.valleyunitedfund.com, or it can be sent through regular mail at P.O. Box 205, West Point, GA, 31833.

Carpenter said many of the organizations the fund supports sustain much of their funding by receiving donations and government grants. However, to receive most of the grants, the organizations must provide matching dollars. The dollars provided through the Valley United Fund can be used as matching dollars to help offset organizational costs.

“Donated dollars have lots of value,” Carpenter said. “A $1 donation for some organizations can be more like $4 or $5.”

Additionally, when donating to the Valley United Fund, those organizations get almost all of the donations, Carpenter said.

The Valley United Fund’s administrative cost is less than 2 percent.

“So, $0.98 or $0.99 on the dollar is going back to these 10 organizations,” Carpenter said. “The only administrative costs we have are our accounting fees and maybe stamps if they needed them that year.”

Carpenter said the goal for 2019-2020 is to raise $100,000 for the organizations. While the fund wants to provide the organizations with everything they ask for every year, he said more realistic expectations are to keep level funding from year to year.

“We try our hardest to provide as many resources to these organizations as we can,” he said. “But we also have to take in the fiscal responsibilities of how much we brought in this year from the previous campaign. We’re probably not able to give everybody everything they want, but we are usually able to level fund everybody from the previous year.”

The Valley United Fund kickoff was hosted at the Cotton Duck in Valley in November, and each of the 10 organizations gave a quick overview of what their organization does.

“Hearing everybody do their descriptions from Valley Haven to the Tri-County Children’s Advocacy Center, to the Christian Service Center — these services are uniquely different,” Carpenter said. “And families need every one of these services to continue to exist, and many families may be receiving multiple services from multiple organizations. So, it’s really kind of a neat thing that this one donation is spread out to create a safety net for Chambers County social services.”

The funds are disseminated twice a year, usually in six-month increments. The board of directors, which consists of Carpenter as president, Lanett City Schools Board of Education member Tony Edmondson as vice president, Chambers County Board of Education Chairman Bill Martin as treasurer and Jim Duttera as the past president, meet four times a year.

Applications for the 2021 funding year are already available on the Valley United Fund website.