United Way of CSRA combines kickoff with day of service

(Featured photo is of a KAMO employee volunteering at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts. Courtesy Brittany Burnett)

With a theme of “Together We Can” and the announcement of a $2.5 million fundraising goal, the United Way of the CSRA’s capital campaign began Aug. 18 at a breakfast at First Baptist Church of Augusta followed by a day of service.

“We need government, education, faith-based organizations, corporations, retirees —all of them to come together,” said Brittany Burnett, president and CEO of the United Way.

A KAMO employee volunteering at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts. Courtesy Brittany Burnett

This year’s goal is about $300,000 more than what was raised during last year’s campaign. Burnett said she realizes it will be a challenge especially with inflation and other factors, but the needs in the community haven’t dissipated; they’ve only increased.

“That’s a stretch,” she said. “We have to cast our net wider.”

Traditionally, the campaign has been driven through workplace donations. Burnett said there’s an emphasis on expanding that net to reach smaller businesses as well as retirees.

After the sold-out breakfast, 350 volunteers spread out across the area to engage in service projects.

This was the second year that the organization combined its kickoff event with its Project Serve day.

The campaign kick off is held in August while the volunteer event had been each April. Two different groups of people attended each event with little crossover. This was an effort to bring those two groups together, and it was a success last year.

Those people who only attended the kickoff event had a chance to see firsthand what their dollars go to.

Volunteers worked on projects at organization such as the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, Girl Scout Camp Tanglewood, the Master’s Table Soup Kitchen nd Child Enrichment.

Not only does the organization raise money to support 40 programs in 27 non-profits in 12 area counties in Georgia and South Carolina, the United Way sponsors other events such as the annual Stuff the Bus event. This year, five busloads of school supplies were collected to benefit schoolchildren not only on the first day of school, but later in the year, when they will still need the supplies.

 Also, the United Way offers referral services through its 211 program.       

To donate or to learn more, visit

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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