United Way of North Talladega County Executive Director Valerie Burrage

United Way of North Talladega County Executive Director Valerie Burrage

TALLADEGA COUNTY -- The United Way of North Talladega County’s 2020 campaign kickoff reception will take place Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Talladega Bottling Works on The Square. 

The event is free and open to the public. 

United Way is a volunteer organization that improves the overall quality of life of individuals and families by reviewing and aiding programs and services that help advance education, income stability and healthy living, its official website states.

According to United Way of North Talladega County Executive Director Valerie Burrage, the nonprofit organization has partnered with 21 local agencies that help community members in need.

Some of the agencies funded through The United Way of North Talladega County include The Red Door Kitchen, The Samaritan House, Palmer Place, The Easter Seals of Talladega, The Arc of North Talladega County, The Boys Scouts of America, The Lincoln Food Pantry, First Family Services and many more.

“Representatives from all of our agencies will be present Thursday to meet with those in need and those interested in making a donation,” Burrage said. 

The North Talladega County chapter has set a fundraising goal of $143,000 for 2020.

“Our funding directly affects how much we can donate to our area agencies, so it’s important to give,” Burrage said. “Many families and members of the community depend on our support.”

Burrage noted the campaign has 17 area sponsors this year.

“I and members of the board want to thank them for their support. It means a lot to us,” Burrage said.

Earlier this summer, Burrage was named the new executive director, a position previously held by Misty McGehee.

“I’ve always had a servant’s heart and just truly enjoy helping others,” Burrage said. “This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I really love and care about our community. I’ve lived here all my life, and I hope I can help others appreciate all of what our community has to offer.”

Burrage retired from the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind on June 1 after serving 28 years as a transition coordinator and coach for the Alabama School for the Blind’s girls track team.

She is a graduate of Talladega High School.

Burrage received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Montevallo and her master’s from the University of Alabama.

She and husband Eric have a son, Landon, who attends Auburn University. 

Burrage said she hopes she can grow the local chapter and create an even stronger presence in the community. 

“It’s important for the public to understand what we do and that we are here to help,” she said. 

Burrage said donations to the 2020 fundraiser will be accepted until Dec. 31, and volunteers are always needed.

For more information, contact Burrage at 256-362-4665 or visit www.facebook.com/UWNTC.