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United Way campaign kickoff puts volunteers to work stuffing bags for those in need
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Lilian Siu, a volunteer, and Becki Breslin, the operations and finance administrator with United Way, organize items during the United Way of Hall County's 2015 Campaign Kickoff event at the Robson Event Center in Gainesville on Thursday, September 10, 2015. Some of the items included in the kits were toothbrushes, soap, laundry detergent, crayons and books. - photo by Erin O. Smith

When her house burned down back in November, it was all Starr Carter could do to keep it together. The family got out safely, but she’d lost everything she owned.

What kept the world from crashing down around her?

“It was the little things,” Carter said. Namely, the bag of basic necessities that American Red Cross — a recipient of United Way funding — brought straight to her doorstep within two hours of the catastrophe.

The care package Carter received was much like the bags that United Way of Hall County volunteers assembled Thursday morning during the organization’s 2015 Campaign Kickoff at the Robson Event Center in Gainesville.

Campaign Chairman Brett Fowler said the gathering was a break from the typical yearly kickoff.

“In years past, it was more of a formal thing,” Fowler said. “This time around, it’s a hands-on opportunity for people to put together these kits for people to be distributed to people in need in the community and also to partner agencies of United Way.”

Carter said United Way is a “worthy cause, because it touches everyone in the community. Because of my personal story, I will forever be a supporter of time and money to United Way.”

According to its website, United Way of Hall County aims to focus on the areas of education, income and health “because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life.”

The organization recruits people and organizations from all over the community “who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done.”

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