The numbers are in! Meridian Public School District area schools raised $1,017 on “Make a Change” day.

“Our area children really made a difference in this community by bringing their spare change to school for United Way,” said Gloria Williams, a retired Meridian school teacher and United Way board member. “And to top it off, the Riley Foundation will be matching the funds, penny for penny, because it is earmarked for our endowment. This is about the children understanding the importance of philanthropy and how it can make a positive change, great or small.”

Additionally, Meridian High School Cheerleaders joined in the effort to “Make a Change” and raised $143 at the last Meridian High School home football game by passing the bucket for Ray Stadium United Way night. Comcast, one of United Way’s ardent corporate sponsors, conducted an inter office “Penny War” campaign.

“All these campaigns really add up” said Williams. “It really is about a lot of people giving a little-instead of a few giving a lot.”

Contributions to the United Way stay in the community and help support their 17 partner agencies. The United Way of East Mississippi and West Alabama, operates through more than 150 programs in a seven county area and last year served a record 150,000 people.

The 17 partner agencies who make it all possible are the American Red Cross — Key Chapter, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America — Choctaw Area Council, Care Lodge, Community of Hope Tutoring Program, Habitat for Humanity, Hope Village for Children, Foster Grandparents, Friendship Center, Girls Scouts, Meals on Wheels, Meridian Speech and Hearing, Rebuild East Mississippi, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, Salvation Army, and Wesley House Community Center. United Way’s Community Impact Initiatives are The Riley Foundation Supply Our Students, Meridian Letter Carriers Can-A-Thon, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, Born Learning, Rags to Riches, Each One-Reach One, and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

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