Source: Temple Daily Telegram
By Janice Gibbs, Telegram Staff
The donations of thousands of residents and hundreds of businesses in East Bell County make it possible for United Way of Central Texas to continue to support community clinics, food pantries, shelters and other programs.
United Way of Central Texas kicked off its 2020 campaign at a Leadership Breakfast this week.
The goal of United Way of Central Texas is to create measurable changes in the areas of health, education and financial stability for those in the community who struggle, said Stephanie O’Banion, president and CEO of the United Way of Central Texas, said at the breakfast.
“Using donated dollars collected each year the United Way invests in proven programs that provide lasting solutions in people lives,” O’Banion said.
United Way of Central Texas supports 19 local agencies.
Guest speaker at the breakfast, Jim Hinton, CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health, didn’t start out as a supporter of United Way back when it was called Community Chest.
Hinton was in junior high school in Albuquerque 1971 and he was smitten.
He would do anything to impress Nancy, even ice skating. Hinton asked her to a dance and to further his ambition to win Nancy’s heart he was convinced he needed new shoes, Adidas Super Stars.
He approached his mother about buying the shoes and she wasn’t swayed. A more pressing need, according to his mother, were two older brothers who needed braces.
Hinton came across a pay stub for his mother, who worked as coordinator of volunteers at a local hospital. He noticed that his mother had a $25 deduction for something called Community Chest. She explained that Community Chest supported local social service agencies that helped people in need. Hinton thought the donation could be better used in financing a pair of Adidas.
She wasn’t swayed.
“I didn’t like that at all and was convinced that Community Chest had ruined my life,” he said.
Several years later, Hinton arrived at his new job at Presbyterian Healthcare Services in Albuquerque and learned he would be running the hospital’s United Way campaign. He learned there were people on the hospital staff who benefited from the programs United Way supported financially.
A few years later, Hinton’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. His mother, still working, wasn’t in a position to retire, but his father couldn’t be left alone. He ended up in an adult day care that received support from United Way.
“The agency took excellent care of my dad,” Hinton said.
Over the next 30 years, Hinton held just about every role in the United Way of Central New Mexico and he now sits on the board of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
“It gets in your blood, I’m a believer in the United Way,” he said. “It’s not enough to give, you have to teach others to give. My mother taught me that.”
United Way is efficient in how it raises funds, Hinton said.
“It develops pride in your business and what we stand for,” he said. Baylor Scott & White Central upped its giving in the 2019 by 19 percent.
For the past two years Eric Tovar, manager of the H-E-B Plus in Belton, lead the United Way of Central Texas annual campaign, collecting $2.4 million. Vic Lam of Wilsonart will be the campaign chair for the upcoming campaign.
In the past year, United Way of Central Texas created the Center for Community Impact. The center exists to not only support the work of United Way of Central Texas, but to nurture new service programs to improve the education, financial stability and health of Central Texas.