Smith: Contributing ‘right thing to do’

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 3, 1999

Kevin Smith of Natchez has been a contributor to the United Way for more than 20 years and has helped organize Deposit Guaranty National Bank’s United Way campaigns for more than five years.

But it took a reception, held just a few weeks ago to bring United Way agencies and their contributors together, to bring home to Smith the real meaning of giving to the organization.

&uot;There was a lady about 70 years old who told how she learned how to read with an agency’s help,&uot;&160;Smith said. &uot;Another lady told what Pleasant Acres Day School had done for her two children. That really opened my eyes.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

Money raised by the United Way of the Miss-Lou helps fund 27 nonprofit agencies, from recreation programs to domestic violence shelters.

And that is what keeps Smith involved with the United Way chapter as co-chairman of this year’s fund-raising campaign – the effect United Way agencies have on lives throughout the Miss-Lou.

&uot;Every contributor should get to know as much as possible about these agencies and the people they serve,&uot; said Smith, who serves as co-chair with Cliff Merritt.

&uot;I know it gave me a completely different look at things.&uot;

As campaign co-chair, Smith helps organize every facet of this year’s fundraising effort.

That includes talking with the leaders of local companies about the United Way, helping them organize their in-house campaigns and writing letters and making face-to-face contacts with other possible contributors.

&uot;Being a United Way contributor all these years, I knew it was the right thing to do,&uot;&160;Smith said. &uot;But now I’m a firm believer.&uot;