United Way of the River Cities adds Gallia County to service area

May 1—United Way of the River Cities is adding another county to its service area, expanding further into Ohio.

On July 1, Gallia County will be represented by the United Way of the River Cities following the dissolution of its United Way.

The UWRC, which celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2022, currently services Cabell, Lincoln, Mason and Wayne counties in West Virginia, and Lawrence County, in Ohio.

"United Way of the River Cities' addition of Gallia County to its service area provides an exciting opportunity to reinvigorate and grow the United Way outreach throughout Gallia County," said Erik Legg, UWRC board president. "We recognize the communities that make up Gallia County share many challenges and resources in common with those we currently serve, and we believe this partnership will benefit all involved by expanding our community of caring in ways that further the mission of United Way of the River Cities. We look forward to a cooperative transition while bringing Gallia County into the River Cities fold."

The United Way of Gallia County's board of directors voted in January to move forward with the dissolution for the best interest of Gallia County.

Brandon Winland, board treasurer for United Way of Gallia County, said he has been able to see first-hand the impact the organization had made in the community.

That impact, he said, has only been possible because of donors.

Carol Bailey, UWRC Executive Director, said it didn't take long to see the value in adding another River City into the fold.

"Gallia borders Lawrence County, Ohio, and is across the river from Mason County, West Virginia — both counties are already part of our service area," Bailey said. "Add to that our history of serving as the fiscal sponsor for UWGC over 20 years ago, back when they were first getting up and running and it seems like the natural solution to keeping United Way active in the county. We want to see local Gallia County agencies continue to receive the support they have gotten from United Way over many years. because this, in turn, means the needs of Gallia County residents are being met more fully. "

Judy Walters, a long-time advocate of Gallia County, said she was pleased with the relationship that was forged with United Way and the community over the decades.

"It has been my pleasure to be associated with United Way of Gallia County for 24 years, as volunteer, board member or paid executive director at different times, and I am proud of the respect we have earned in the community," Walters said. "People in Gallia County have come to trust UWGC as the primary charity in the area.... I am so glad to know that United Way of the River Cities will continue representing United Way in Gallia County. In a way, we are going back to our roots, since United Way of Gallia County started under the fiscal sponsorship of UWRC. I hope we can make the transition smooth, so that it will be accepted in the community."

Last year, United Way of the River Cities served more than 48,000 people through 27 funded partner programs and multiple internal initiatives and volunteer efforts such as 2-1-1, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), Read Across the River Cities, the Big Cover Up Grant and the River Cities Warming Drive.