The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

May 14, 2012

Thanks from United Way

James A. Gray III

TARBORO — To the Editor:

A remarkable group of more than 175 citizens came together recently to celebrate a major accomplishment for the communities in Edgecombe and Nash Counties.  The joy was palpable at the Champions’ Luncheon as the United Way Tar River Region affirmed that the ambitious goal of raising more than $1.26 million has been reached!  There was a collective sigh of relief in knowing that funds will be available to continue support for the growing number of needs in our local neighborhoods.

As campaign chair and president-elect of the United Way Board of Directors, I want to thank the wonderful people who contributed to the success of this fundraising effort.  You and we did it!

The annual Champions’ Luncheon is a special event that celebrates the spirit of United Way.  Some people at the luncheon may have contributed relatively small amounts, while some corporations had donated hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Others represented the personnel and volunteers who run our 21 partner agencies that receive United Way allocations to assist our friends and neighbors in countless ways.

Our “champions” are givers, rather than takers, who realize that our community as a whole is only as strong as are our least fortunate.  All are champions for the people, who need help to realize their dreams for life. Our champions know that both giving and receiving will make us the kind of place to be admired.

As the moment of celebration ended, the next campaign began. Need never sleeps or diminishes and though the faces may change, the number of people who need us never goes down. The capacity of our hearts and minds must go up as a counterbalance.

I have been in Rocky Mount only three years, but I know we will grow in our care. Companies will continue to reach outside their business objectives to help our people. Individuals will dig deep to give and give some more.  Thank you again, to everyone who has helped to make this year a success and to those who will join our future efforts.  This is the true spirit of United Way and what it means to “live united” in the Tar River Region.

James A. Gray III


NC Wesleyan College

Campaign Chair/President-elect

United Way Tar River Region