United Way of the Big Bend (UWBB) has launched its 2016-17 campaign in Franklin County.

St. George Island resident Earl Solomon, with PeoplesSouth Bank, will chair this year’s campaign. In addition, new volunteers have joined the team to better connect the community with the programs and services of United Way.

Team members are Rose McCoy, of M and M Monument Company; Brandilyn Kent, of Centennial Bank, Brenda Benjamin, with the property appraiser’s office; and Sgt. Ryan Sandoval, with the sheriff’s office.

United Way of the Big Bend has many stories to tell especially about its agencies and the many services they provide in Franklin County. For nearly 75 years, United Way of the Big Bend has made it its mission to create access to opportunity so that everyone has the chance to live a safe, happy and productive life. Last year, for members of our community, opportunity came in many ways.

So, how does United Way help folks in Franklin County? Big Bend Hospice helps a grieving family… the number of food backpacks for children that are prepared and distributed by volunteers… that $1 still provides four meals for someone through the efforts of Second Harvest with our local food pantries…. that over 172,738 pounds of food were distributed annually, right here in Franklin County… and many more stories created by 13 local United Way agencies.

IIn fact, the dollars we raise stay here, to help our local folks who live and work in Franklin County.

In addition to the agencies’ services in the community, UWBB provides special programs like:


READ United - Volunteers read to every first grade class of students and give them a free book to take home and keep.
VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) – Volunteers provide free income tax preparation assistance through UWBB’s partnership with the IRS.
Reality Store - a financial simulation used to teach critical financial literacy skills to middle and high school students. This program helps students learn the basic skills in financial planning, decision making, and career planning.
Allocation team - Be a part of this process to help make critical decisions to allocate the undesignated dollars for the funded programs through our agencies.


Organizers hope to raise $20,000 through their fundraising efforts for the Franklin County community. Last year, United Way agencies provided food, shelter, healthcare, victim services and educational initiatives. We hope you will join us this year in continuing the tradition of bringing hope and opportunity to all facets of our community.

For more information or to make a contribution, please contact Earl Solomon at esolomon@peoplessouth.net or 653-9828; or Karen Frazee, United Way of the Big Bend at (850) 487-9807 or Karen@uwbb.org