United Way of East Mississippi kicks off ‘Team United’ campaign

Bill Graham / The Meridian Star

Derron Radcliff, executive director of the The United Way of East Mississippi, was joined by cheerleaders from around Lauderdale County during the kickoff of the “Team United” annual campaign on Tuesday.  


The United Way of East Mississippi is encouraging the community to join “Team United” during its annual campaign, which kicked off Tuesday and runs through February 2020.

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“You are what makes the United Way of East Mississippi happen,” Derron Radcliff, the agency’s executive director, told the audience during the kickoff at the Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience. “We do not do what we do without the support you give us, whether it’s 25 cents or $25,000.”

Kym Parnell, chair of the campaign, defined the “Team United” theme as “Together, for a common purpose, to achieve a common goal.”

“Unified, merged.. bonded, like-minded, undivided, solid, in unison,” she said, reeling off a set of synonyms.

Ken Kercheval, CEO of the Choctaw Area Council of Boy Scouts, spoke on behalf of the dozens of organizations the United Way supports, urging the crowd to be generous.

“We need to step it up,” Kercheval said. “Nothing’s getting cheaper. We’re going to do our part, but there’s only so many special events you can run, only so many separate campaigns. We need the United Way.”

The United Way of East Mississippi supports 20 partner agencies and seven impact programs in Clarke, Kemper, Neshoba and Lauderdale counties. During last year’s campaign, the organization raised about $760,000, compared to $850,523 the previous year.

The agency said at the time the dip in contributions wasn’t just a local problem, but something non-profits were facing across the country.

For more information on how to donate or volunteer, visit www.uwem.org or call 601.693.2745.

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