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United Way Receives Chamber Honor

Though Brett White began his tenure in Marion County just last October, he came to town with experience.

His new position as executive director of the United Way of Marion County brought him to Fairmont, where his experience in the field of nonprofits allowed him to make an impact that seems to represent more than just one year of work.

And while these efforts paid off to the community and the people they helped, the results of the work done by the United Way is being recognized with the Community Service Award at the Marion County Chamber of Commerce awards dinner.

“We’ve been giving the Community Service Award for many many years, and it simply goes to a person or organization that in the past year has exemplified the meaning of ‘Community Service,’” Tina Shaw, president of theMarion County Chamber of Commerce, said. “Our United Way has done some great things in the last year, and on the verge of doing some work right now.”

Shaw and the Chamber collaborate frequently with the United Way, tackling fundraising events such as Dancing With the Stars and the Empty Bowls campaign in a tandem fashion. The Day of Action was also a highlight of the year, according to Shaw.

“They brought out over 100 volunteers to spend the day throughout the county,” Shaw said. “Helping nonprofits paint, and clean up and build. We haven’t had one of those in years and it was just amazing, the amount of support they got.”

The United Way is a community nonprofit which collects and distributes funds to other nonprofits throughout Marion County that together touch on a variety of individuals and demographics of the area.

“They for several years have met their goal,” Shaw said. All the money they raise stays here, and there are 22 agencies that get the benefit of the United Way dollars that are raised.”

The award is being presented for the nonprofit’s proficiency in raising money, and for its volunteer organization programs which took place throughout the year. As Shaw explained, the volunteering events have taken ona new attitude with White at the helm.

“Along with his passion, he’s fun,” Shaw said. “Being involved on helping with United Way volunteers, he makes it fun for people wanting to help.”

Shaw credits the organization’s effectiveness in its efforts over the past year to White and his background in serving in nonprofits, as he previously worked with both the United Way of Monongalia County and the United Way of Preston County.

“He’s really brought a lot of his experience from his past job to Marion County,” Shaw said. “I think with his expertise and his passion for the job, we’ve already seen a significant increase in volunteerism and business support and support for the different agencies.

“Personally I think he has changed the whole face of UnitedWay for Marion County.”

As reported in a previous edition of the Times West Virginian, White worked as the director of development and communications for the United Way of Monongalia and preston Counties since 2012. To White, it’s definitely more of a calling than a job.

“Nonprofit has always felt like a calling to me,” White told the Times West Virginian in October. “Even when I was a young kid going to food pantries or helping out other nonprofits, it was always something that came naturally to me.”

White’s contributions, in addition to those of his staff and faculty, have helped the United Way ofMarion County make an impact on the community it serves, which is why it has been awarded with the Community Service Award by theMarion County Chamber of Commerce in 2018.

“We try to recognize individuals and businesses that go above and beyond in the past year,” Shaw said. “(UnitedWay) is very wellrespected and really deserve this award.”

Published in Times West Virginian. 8-16=18

Email Eddie Trizzino at etrizzino@timeswv.com and follow him on Twitter @eddietimeswv.