07/23/14 — United Way chairman: It's about people

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United Way chairman: It's about people

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on July 23, 2014 1:46 PM

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Glenn Phillips Jr., senior minister at First Baptist Church in Goldsboro, will serve as the 2014 United Way campaign chairman.

There are no limits to what the United Way of Wayne County and its partners, recipients and supporters can accomplish if they remember the core reason that they raise money, start programs and create a better community, the organization's new campaign chairman says.

It's about being there for each other, Dr. Glenn Phillips Jr. said.

Remembering that -- and building relationships among United Way, its donors and its recipients -- will be the keys to the organization making its goal for the first time in a couple of years, Phillips said.

"My No. 1 goal is to turn this into being about relationships," the senior minister at First Baptist Church of Goldsboro said. "It's not about needs, not about money, not about why we should do this, but about relationships."

Phillips created one of those connections, after becoming friends with Windsor Ingram, a 65-year-old Wayne County man who just recently learned to read through Literacy Connections, which gets financial support from United Way of Wayne County.

Phillips and Ingram were honorary co-chairmen of last year's United Way campaign.

"As we create relationships with each other, as I did with Windsor, suddenly you begin to see this person not as a statistic, but as a neighbor," Phillips said. "If we can create relationships with United Way through the contributors and relationships with our partners and with the people who have a particular need, then we begin to make difference.

"I believe that building those relationships is the key to a strong campaign."

One way United Way is building relationships with the community is by dividing the county into sections -- north, south, east and west -- and sending board members into each section to establish those relationships with individuals and businesses.

That's the kind of relationship that Phillips is promoting.

He's always been a strong supporter of United Way.

"United Way has a specific goal of touching lives of the people in the communities where you live," he said. "Oftentimes, we think other people are going to do that. But United Way, specifically for me, touches the lives of people here that I care about. Even if I don't know them personally, they're still my neighbors."

One way Phillips is encouraging people to give to United Way this year is through the Fair Share Challenge -- one hour's pay per month.

"It enables everybody to give a percentage of their income," he said. "So, regardless of their level of income, they're making the same sacrifice as everybody else is."

An incentive to give a fair share donation is being entered into a drawing to win $5,000 cash at the end of the campaign.

Phillips is also encouraging local businesses and groups to be Frontrunners, who conduct their drives before the campaign even gets under way.

"We are so appreciative of those who get in front of the campaign," he said. "We know the sacrifice they make, and that's the key to the campaign."

This year's goal is $1,150,000, which translates into 23,000 lives that will be touched and changed forever.

"I hope people know that United Way doesn't want to talk about money anymore," Phillips said. "People are tired of that. Let's talk about lives being impacted.

"For instance, how can we help that family who's burned out? How can we help that person with a bank account with some financial literacy?"

Phillips said that United Way has calculated that it takes about $50 to help one person.

"And if we impact 23,000 lives, that's roughly 20 percent of Wayne County," he said. "That's 20 percent of people that we know, that we call our neighbors. That's why I'm doing this."

Phillips also likes the fact that 94 percent of what is given to United Way stays in Wayne County.

"As we begin to see each other as neighbors, that's what United Way really is, a neighbor helping another neighbor," he said. "We need to have that relationship to care about each other."

The 2014 campaign kicks off Aug. 22 and ends Dec. 17.