United Way of Cullman County announces relocation

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United Way of Cullman County's Annual Meeting, held on Thursday, May 30, 2024, at Loft 212, was a significant event that not only highlighted UWCC and its team's accomplishments over the past 12 months, but also celebrated the invaluable contributions of volunteers and local businesses. (UWCC)

CULLMAN, Ala. – United Way of Cullman County (UWCC) Executive Director Stephanie Childers, at the organization’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 30, at Loft 212, shared, “United Way of Cullman County is on the move! Literally!”

UWCC is currently housed at the historic train depot on Arnold Street and has been at that location for many years. Beginning Aug. 1, it will move to Austin Avenue, to a new location that has been secured with the help of local officials.

“We have had the incredible opportunity to work with the City of Cullman to find a new home for our United Way,” shared Childers. “We are extremely grateful to Mayor Woody Jacobs, (Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism Executive Director) Nathan Anderson and (Cullman Economic Development Agency Director) Dale Greer for their support and help with our move.”

The Annual Meeting was a significant event that not only highlighted UWCC and its team’s accomplishments over the past 12 months, but also celebrated the invaluable contributions of volunteers and local businesses.  

Loft 212 was abuzz with excitement as over 200 community leaders, members, volunteers and staff from partner agencies gathered for the Annual Meeting.

One of the key fundraising strategies employed by UWCC is Workplace Campaigns. This initiative, facilitated through partnerships with local businesses, allows employees to make regular donations to the nonprofit or its partner agencies directly from their paychecks. By eliminating intermediaries, this method often encourages more individuals to contribute, and in some cases, UWCC is able to match these funds, amplifying the impact of the donations.

Said Childers, “For instance, that $5 you donated would actually mean $10-15 dollars for the nonprofit! What better way to help than to give in that way?”

The organization’s Top 10 Workplace Campaigns were awarded to:

  • Publix
  • Walmart
  • Rusken Packaging
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama
  • City of Cullman
  • Apel Steel
  • Cullman County Schools
  • Topre America
  • Cullman County Commission
  • Wallace State Community College

UWCC is also home to the Young Professionals Board, a collective of young adults in professional roles eager to help their neighbors and community through the network they have acquired with their careers. The YP Board often hosts outreach events and completes service projects.

Jaimie Atkinson was awarded Young Professional Board Member of the Year. Atkinson, having been with UWCC for several years, has served in multiple capacities. She has worked as an office volunteer, assisted with the planning and organization of Designer Bag Bingo and the Crawfish Boil and recently served as the YP Board president.

Susan Crane was honored with the award for Volunteer of the Year, serving the community through her volunteer work at The Good Samaritan Clinic, a UWCC partner agency.

Childers smiled and said, “Susan goes above and beyond.”

The next and last award of the evening was the coveted Roy Drinkard Community Service Award. This accolade is given to individuals who exemplify volunteerism through community service and work, those whose dedication to bringing lasting hope, promise, enrichment and opportunity into the lives of those around them has left a lasting positive impact on a person, group or community at large. The award went to Jennifer Parker.

“Jennifer Parker has been active with United Way for 10-plus years and is one of our biggest advocates. She has been active on our Young Professionals Board, Women United and United Way’s Board and filled in everywhere in between,” Childers said. “She truly embodies the spirit of community and volunteerism of United Way of Cullman County. We are honored to present this prestigious award to her this year.”

Cullman County’s Imagination Library, serving children from birth to age 5, is partially funded through UWCC. For months, Childers and the UWCC Board have been in discussions with the Winston County Board of Education (WCBOE) to extend the Imagination Library into Winston County. At the meeting, Childers was excited to announce that the program will be extended into Winston County. Participating children will receive one book a month, at no cost to the families, beginning this fall.

Reflecting on the past year as a whole, Childers recalled the successes and downfalls of the last 12 months while also looking to the organization’s bright future. She said the boards and involvement in UWCC are gaining popularity at a rapid pace. Partner agencies are growing and extending their own reach, and the UWCC is becoming a force of positive outreach, helping residents connect with the help and assistance they need.

“It is truly a blessing and honor to be a part of the United Way of Cullman County. I am so proud to say that we are 45 years strong thanks to the amazing support of our community,” Childers said. “We look forward to many more years of supporting and uplifting the wonderful partner agencies and Cullman and Winston County citizens.”

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