Horry residents ready to put on overalls for the United Way

By The Editorial Board

Travis Dannelly of Conway was introduced to the United Way of Horry County when he was a student-athlete at Coastal Carolina University. A decade later, he considers himself fortunate to be chairman of the 2018 fundraising campaign, with a goal of $1.375 million.

It’s a big goal, $50,000 more than the campaign that ended April 30, which raised $1,426,270, the fourth highest total in the 41 years of the United Way. The 2017 campaign was above $1.4 million for the first time in nine years.

The success of recent United Way fundraising drives, which help support a variety of services for thousands of residents, has a contagious effect in attracting volunteers.

“There is so much energy and enthusiasm” among the fundraising team, as well as the board of directors, Dannelly said. A meeting of campaign division leaders and teams had 100 percent participation, United Way president and CEO Genie Sherard noted.

Of the seven division leaders, four are new for the 2018 campaign. Sherard described the division leaders as a “perfect mix of old and new talent.”

The new leaders are: Edward Benton, Myrtle Beach; Rick Elliott, North Strand; Stephanie English, South Strand; Christy Everett, Public Service.

The Horry campaign traditionally kicks off with the annnual Day of Caring, set for Sept. 15, with 80 volunteers already signed up. Sherard attributes the high number of volunteers, five weeks prior to the event, to increased use of MobileCause, which makes volunteering easy.

“Day of Caring is a big, big day for us,” Dannelly said.

Volunteers will work on 12 projects at several community partner organizations, the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex, and Socastee Recreational Center. The projects include a phone survey at Neighbor to Neighbor, a transportation service for seniors. Other work to be done includes painting, landscaping, building shelves and taking inventory. The phone survey may appeal to potential volunteers who don’t want to do physical jobs.

“People need to register,” Sherard said, noting that those who volunteer early have a wider choice of assignments.

Other nonprofits on Day of Caring projects include A Father’s Place, Community Kitchen of Myrtle Beach, Helping Hand of Myrtle Beach, Horry County Disabilities, New Directions Men’s Shelter, North Strand Helping Hand, and SOS Health Care.

Dannelly, a banker, played football at CCU and graduated in 2006. His dad, Jess Dannelly, was CCU’s head softball coach for 20 years. Travis Dannelly said that in his first job after university, Rebecca Hardwick, a past United Way campaign leader, “knew that I have a servant’s heart,” He feels that’s the case of everyone involved in United Way. “There is measurable impact every year from the giving in this campaign.”

How to volunteer

To volunteer for Day of Caring or learn more about the annual project, visit www.UnitedWayHorry.org/day-of-caring or text DOC2017 to 51555.

United Way of Horry County

P.O. Box 673 Conway, SC 29528

Phone | 843-347-5195