United Way of Mitchell County to close doors

February 1, 2016

The United Way of Mitchell County has made the difficult decision to close its doors.

Over the past several years, the United Way's fundraising has decreased. There are many reasons for this, including the downturn in the economy and the loss of jobs locally.

During this time, the United Way has awarded fewer grants of smaller amounts. In 2012, the United Way awarded $42,455 to 14 Mitchell County organizations. In 2015, just $17,275 was awarded to eight organizations.

After considering many options, the Board of Directors determined they were not going to be able to turn around this trend to the degree necessary to continue. The vote to dissolve was unanimous.

Under the United Way model, funds raised one year are distributed the following year. That will happen this year: funds raised in 2015 will be distributed before the dissolution is complete. Any funds received in 2016 prior to the dissolution will be included in this distribution.

The United Way's annual Taste of the Blue Ridge fundraiser has become an anticipated annual event. The board is exploring options that will allow this event to continue and is hopeful that will be possible.

Although the decision to dissolve the United Way of Mitchell County was difficult to make, board members believe that local organizations will be better served in the long run. More and more, people want to donate directly to organizations and causes they support. It is now easier than ever to do this, including donating on an organization's website.

There are many nonprofit organizations providing valuable and needed services in Mitchell County. The United Way encourages everyone to continue to support these organizations, both financially and through volunteer service.
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