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Scenes from the 2010 United Way Campaign Kickoff
IMG 2552 - julie mills displays money tree for raffle kysa daniels in background
Julie Mills, with the United Way of Rockdale County, displays a "money tree" to be raffled off. - photo by Michelle Kim

Upcoming United Way Events

Sept. 23
BBQ Fundraiser, with Jim N' Nicks and the Rockdale Career Academy

Oct. 14
Read for the Record

Oct. 19
Women's Leadership Coffee

Dec. 4
Breakfast with Santa

Dec. 9
Holiday Networking, and Ugly Sweater Contest
at the Granite Mountain Harley-Davidson

For more information, call 678-623-2857

The needs in the community may be growing in the economic downturn, but community groups are rising up to meet the challenge.

On Wednesday, the United Way in Rockdale County launched its 2010 United Way Campaign at a luncheon with the Rockdale and Conyers Rotary clubs, hosted by the Rockdale Medical Center.

Keynote speaker Bonnie Cole, senior vice president of resource development for the United Way of Metro Atlanta, spoke about the wide range of issues and programs the United Way supports, including the initiative on homelessness, community health, early childhood development, afterschool learning, assisting families in need and supporting senior services.

She pointed out, with a participation exercise designed to drive home the point, that nearly everyone in the room was affected by or benefited in some way from one of the programs supported by the United Way.

"That's why United Way," said Cole. "There's lots of needs, and you do not have to be low income to meet them. There are folks we are helping on all income levels."

She added that giving to the United Way brought together a wide range of people in the common act of donation. "It's the one gift that I give that ties all of us together. It's the one that mobilizes me and thousands of people to make our community better, which I think makes it the most powerful gift that I give," she said.

Rockdale also unveiled its fundraising goal this year of $324,000, or 3 percent more than last year.

"It's a goal that goes up every year because the need goes up every year," said 2010 campaign chair Elly Dalton. She added that the investment the United Way put into the grantee partners produced growing assistance that met those needs.

Last year, about $800,000 worth of services were returned to Rockdale County, according to staff members. The United Way's 211 call referral center addressed 3,800 calls for help from Rockdale.

Fundraising events this year include the Annual BBQ with Jim N' Nicks and the Rockdale Career Academy on Sept. 23, Read for the Record on Oct. 14, Women's Leadership Coffee on Oct. 19, Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 4, and Holiday Networking and Ugly Sweater Contest on Dec. 9.

For more information on how to become involved individually or through a company or organization, call (678) 623-2890 or visit