Posted on Aug 29, 2018

With a $120,000 fundraising goal, the 2018 United Way of Palo Pinto County campaign is ready to begin Saturday.

The campaign officially runs through Oct. 31, but as United Way Executive Director Shaina Davis, pictured center, told members of Rotary Club of Mineral Wells on Wednesday, every day is a day one can give to United Way.

In fact, United Way has fundraisers throughout the year, including the Mother-Son Dance in the spring and the upcoming Penny Auction. This year, a new fundraiser is being planned, a winter beauty pageant. Details on that to come later.

Also to come later are details on United Way relocating its offices to the former Glidewell's Pawn Shop at 402 S. Oak Avenue, thanks to the help and generosity of Randy and Misty Nix of NSC Properties.

Also pictured above with Davis are program chair for the day Connie Ball, left, and club President JJ Dugan.

Davis told Rotarians when one gives to United Way, they are not giving to an agency, they are giving to their neighbors in need. United Way of Palo Pinto County helps support 12 non-profit agencies, providing them quarterly payments based on the amount of monies raised in the community. In turn, those agencies provide an array of services and assistance to people of all ages and backgrounds throughout the county.

Every dollar given in Palo Pinto County stays in Palo Pinto County.

"When you give to United Way, you are giving back to the community," Davis said, likening it to the movie, "Pay it Forward."

Davis said those quarterly checks at times help some of the financially struggling agencies "keep their heads above water" and keep them from closing their doors.

Last year's Penny Auction was so well-attended, United Way is moving it to the Mineral Wells High School cafeteria.

"We were busting at the seams," Davis said of last year's event inside the Palo Pinto County Sheriff's Posse Building.

This year's auction is Saturday, Sept. 8. The doors open at 5 p.m. and the auction begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and includes three cups and a drink. More cups can be purchased at the auction, which will increase the chances of winning auction items.

Advance tickets are available at Bennett’s Office Supply, Community National Bank & Trust of Texas, Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce, The Bank of Mineral Wells & United Way of Palo Pinto County.

Agencies currently supported by the local United Way are:

• ARM-Addiction Recovery Ministry.

• CASA-Hope For Children.

• Cocoon Pregnancy Resource Center.

• Dunbar Neighborhood Council Inc.

• Girl Scouts of Texas/OK Plains, Inc. (Hope Troop of Mineral Wells).

• HOPE Inc.

• Meals on Wheels of Palo Pinto County Inc.

• Mineral Wells Center of Life.

• New Haven/ Helping Hands.

• Palo Pinto County 4-H.

• Palo Pinto County CPS/ Child Welfare Board Rainbow Room.

• The Salvation Army.

For more information on United Way of Palo Pinto County, this year's campaign and how to make a pledge or donation, call 940-325-4848, go to their website or find them on Facebook.

Davis provided testimonials about United Way and the funding support they receive from the agency and the community from several of the supported non-profit organizations:


Salvation Army

Palo Pinto County Salvation Army would like to thank Palo Pinto County United Way for its generous quarterly utility assistance grant. The Salvation Army of Palo Pinto County assists county residents in need with one utility bill per year.

(Two years ago), we were running very low on funds and had reduced our donation amount to $50 per client. By December 2016, we had no money and were unfortunately turning clients away. This year (2017), because of United Way's generous grant, we have been able to increase the amount of assistance given to each client; we have added pharmacy assistance, and we have enough money in our account to finish the year without turning clients away.

Palo Pinto County's Salvation Army Unit earns all of the money to assist residents for the year through the Red Kettle Campaign each December. One-hundred percent of the monies donated to the kettles in front of Wal-Mart and Metro stays in Palo Pinto County to help our residents; however, the amount collected may fluctuate depending on the economy.

Salvation Army had the pleasure of helping a local family with an electric bill at the beginning of the year. The mother was looking for a job (she now works at Wal-Mart) and the dad had a low/medium-paying job. They had four young children. The Salvation Army intake officers interviewed the client regarding why they couldn't pay their bill, talked about spiritual or physical needs, and finished with prayer.

Besides needing a job, this mother stated that she was not going to church, but would like for her children to be involved with a church. The Indian Creek Baptist Church bus began picking up the three school-age children every Wednesday night for Awanas. When it was time for Salvation Army Camp enrollment, we enrolled all three children for camp. The children were able to attend and experience a wonderful camp, which they would have never been able to afford on their own.

Salvation Army believes assisting this family with their electric bill opened the door to a relationship with this family that was far more beneficial than just a monetary donation. Palo Pinto County Salvation Army would like to thank the United Way for its yearly grant and our local residents who place money in the Red Kettles. Because of Palo Pinto County's generosity, we have been able to help 245 families this year.

Gwen Jones

Hope Inc.

Hope Inc., has been blessed by the Palo Pinto United Way for 33 years. The State of Texas, Health and Human Services Commission, pays for the salaries of all Hope employees; this ensures that a variety of services, by trained employees, will be available to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The other assets of Hope, the shelter, van, utilities and maintenance, all come from local funding resources – donations, fundraising and the United Way.

All Hope clients are protected by confidentiality. So I do not have a particular story to tell, but I will say that all of those "stories" you see on the "Lifetime" movie channel are some what accurate. The documentaries about the religious cults, kidnappings, torture and serial rapists? All true.

Hope has protected these victims, and helped them to continue on their journey. They have trusted me, and shared their past horrors and triumphs. While I cherish the friendships and experiences we have shared, I will carry these gruesome images forever. I admire their fight for survival, courage, and the strength of optimism about their future.

I am passionate about this work; Hope has made a positive change in so many peoples' lives.

Lisa Huffaker


Meals on Wheels of Palo Pinto County

Over the past couple of years, Meals on Wheels of Palo Pinto County has been working to find stability. Due to some poor decision-making by people previously involved with MOWPPC, the agency was faced with several challenges, including a pile of debt and an ongoing issue with serving more meals than could be covered with funds available. MOWPPC was also forced to start a waiting list since we didn't have enough money coming in.

During the current fiscal year, MOWPPC has been able to become more financially sound while continuing to serve a great majority of those who are eligible for services. Thanks to increased funding, from agencies like The United Way, MOWPPC has been able to practically eliminate our waiting list and better serve Palo Pinto County.

Recently, MOWPPC received a call from a client who was getting meals delivered. She stated that she no longer needed our services because she was now able to prepare meals for herself. The client had started on meals a few months earlier after having surgery on her leg. She needed a way to get healthy lunches to help her body heal, but was unable to drive or stand for long periods of time, and with no one at her home to help during the day, she turned to MOWPPC for help. Our services provided her with nutritious lunches that were delivered to her home by friendly volunteers and allowed her to rest while she recovered from surgery.

Just this week we heard from a client who had been off of services for a while due to being put on a liquid-only diet. We had continued to serve her husband while she was off meals. Currently, her husband's health has declined and he is now using a feeding tube, but her health has improved enough to where she can get back on meals. While we are saddened to hear of her husband's (who is a client) failing health, we're glad to be able to provide meals for her as she regains her strength and cares for her husband in their home. Our home-delivered meals will allow her to not have to get out of the house each day for lunch and/or spend too much time preparing food. We're glad to be able to help her focus on tending to her husband and keeping up her health.


Cocoon Pregnancy Resource Center

Founded in 2005, Cocoon Pregnancy Resource Center exists to serve babies and their families in Palo Pinto County by providing diapers, clothes and just about anything pregnancy and baby-related. We also provide free pregnancy verifications for girls who need to apply for Medicaid through the Department of Human Services.

Over the years, Cocoon has served hundreds of moms, dads and a surprising number of grandparents

who need a little bit of assistance and encouragement in raising their little ones. We have become a resource for other local social service organizations, and cherish our partnership with United Way of Palo Pinto County. United Way's financial support has been an essential resource to Cocoon, as the ministry has recently transitioned from the umbrella of a single church body to becoming one of five ministry teams of the Palo Pinto Baptist Association.

With our UWPPC funding, Cocoon was able to continue providing hundreds of diaper and wipes packets, among other items like baby wash, lotion and the occasional new car seat to needy families while focusing Cocoon's own fundraising efforts – money needed to purchase a new manufactured building and to move the ministry to a central location in Mineral Wells.

Without a doubt, this transition in both accountability and location will allow Cocoon to be much more accessible to families, as well as, expand our services to include parenting, baby care, and mentoring programs.

In their second week at the new location, Cocoon had seen an increase in client visits. Cocoon is looking forward to a great year and continued partnership with UWPCC.