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CCUW to merge with United Way of Central Alabama

The Chilton County United Way has joined forces with the United Way of Central Alabama following an official announcement at Jemison Intermediate School’s outdoor classroom area on Nov. 18.

“Anytime you bring two great organizations together, what you look for is how you can increase the benefit to the community,” United Way of Central Alabama President Drew Langloh said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to really help expand the human service network here in the community.”

The decision was prompted by the pandemic and was made with the future of the nonprofit organization in mind.

“During COVID it has been extremely difficult to raise the money, we need to help our agencies,” CCUW Chairwoman Mary Mell Smith said.

Several members of the agencies United Way gives money to each year were on hand for the announcement.

Smith assured them that this is not a negative, and it is not a sign that the CCUW is out of money.

“They have many more resources than we have, and it seemed to be a good fit,” Smith said. “We’re not losing, but gaining by doing this.”

CCUW board member and former chairwoman Yolanda Fox will join the United Way of Central Alabama’s board and serve as representation for Chilton County.

Chilton County United Way board members were on hand for the announcement. (Photo by Keith McCoy)

“We wanted someone from the Chilton County board to come onto the Central Alabama board,” Langloh said. “I feel it’s very important, and I think she’ll (Fox) make a great addition. I’m looking forward to the great things we’ll do together in the coming years.”

A second representative from Chilton County will be added to the United Way of Central Alabama board in 2022.

According to Fox, the CCUW has been diligently campaigning and has already raised enough money for its agencies for 2021.

This means that although CCUW will take its place under the Central Alabama umbrella on Jan. 1, 2021, a transition period will take place. The CCUW offices will remain open as they have been until June 2021.

“We will continue to make our allocations,” Fox said. “We’re not closing down, we’re transitioning.”

Chilton County will expand the United Way of Central Alabama to six counties which also includes, Jefferson, Shelby, Walker, Blount and St. Clair.

The United Way of Central Alabama was founded in 1923 and has not had a county join since St. Clair County in 1991.

JIS Principal D.J. Nix is on the Chilton County United Way board and offered his school to be host for the announcement ceremony.

One of the ways the Chilton County United Way gives back to the community is by giving yearly financial assistance to every county public school at the start of each school year.