2018 Non-Profit of the Year- Nacogdoches Area United Way
by C. Wayne Mitchell, Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce
The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to name the Nacogdoches Area United Way as the Non-Profit of the Year for 2018.
The United Way in Nacogdoches was formed in 1952 by a group of business leaders to serve and help people in poverty and need and to help people do better.
Nacogdoches Area United Way President and CEO Gary Lee Ashcraft says “The most rewarding part of being involved with the organization is that United Way is like a ministry. It is very rewarding to reach out to families and to help people succeed and improve their life. Some people have a difficult time in securing jobs and finding ways to support their lives. Our organization and the people involved in United Way are committed to helping people succeed.”
Today, when programs to assist people in need are being cut back in some communities, United Way is more important than ever. People depend on the organizations that United Way supports.
Ashcraft says that “Nacogdoches is a very generous and giving community. We are also in the business of economic development.” Ashcraft said. The community really benefits when we are able to put people to work. The position I hold today has been the job of my life and I thank the Lord for the opportunity to participate in such an important calling.”
“Without the contributions from the businesses and individuals in our community, the work of many organizations would not be possible.” Ashcraft said. “In addition, the major involvement of dozens of volunteers from the many businesses and organizations in Nacogdoches is critical to our success.”
Ashcraft started with Nacogdoches Area United Way in 2009 when the organization was struggling. Under his leadership, the organization has consistently met the campaign goal established by his Board of Directors.
“Nacogdoches is a giving community” Ashcraft said. “Without the generosity of the folks that reside in this community, many needs would go unmet. Needless to say, I am blessed to represent this region.”
Caroline Garner serves as the CFO for the agency. “Caroline is critical to the success of this organization.” Ashcraft said. “Her role as chief financial officer; program manager and so much more greatly contributes to the success of the organization.” “Added to this Caroline is a Certified Public Accountant, insuring that our organization remains in the black and at the top of our game maximizing our operations on a very lean operations budget”.
Every year Nacogdoches Area United Way Partner Agencies touch the lives of thousands of local families. Their network collectively impacts the areas of health, education, income and more. When a child needs an advocate in court they are there. When a family needs emergency shelter or food, they are there.
The Mission of the Nacogdoches Area United Way is to match resources with needs in order to empower people in the Nacogdoches area to make a difference. The United Way vision statement reads: To lead in meeting the needs of education, health and financial stability in our community.
Ashcraft says that “Because of our location and the university we get a unique variety of opinions and philosophical perspectives. But there’s also an uncommon community spirit here. I see firsthand how people in Nacogdoches are always ready to pull together and help when there is a need.”
Some of the partner agencies supported by United Way include The Glory Gang, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; The Helping House; Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); The Solid Foundation; Habitat for Humanity, Nacogdoches; Nacogdoches HOPE; Goodwill; and the Salvation Army just to name a few. Activities of the United Way can be found on the Nacogdoches Area United Way Facebook page and by going to the NAUW web-site at United Way Nac.com.
The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to name the Nacogdoches Area United Way the 2018 Non-profit of the Year! The non-profit of the year award is sponsored by Charles Pool Real Estate, Inc.