By Ashley Rader
The county mayor, the police chief and even the president of Carter County Bank have taken a second job, but it’s not the sluggish economy that has the men taking on double duty.
It’s all for a good cause as they will be participating in the United Way celebrity grocery bagging fundraiser in November to benefit the 2013 campaign for the United Way of Elizabethton/Carter County.
The celebrity bagging fundraiser is going to be Tuesday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Elizabethton and Piney Flats Food City locations.
The volunteer grocery baggers will collect tips for the United Way from grocery shoppers after bagging their groceries. Shoppers will be encouraged to tip the guest grocery baggers as a fundraiser for the United Way. All “tips” will be contributed to the Carter County United Way 2013 campaign. Collection cans will be placed at the registers for shoppers to put their donations in.
Elizabethton/Carter County United Way Director Debbie Guy said this was the first year the Carter County United Way has participated in the celebrity bagging campaign. She said she learned of the fundraiser too late to participate last year. She is excited to bring the fundraiser to Carter County.
“It is a good opportunity to raise additional money for the citizens in the community to go toward the 2013 campaign,” Guy said.
Guy said the United Way is searching for more volunteers among the residents of Carter County. Guy said around 110 volunteers would be needed to staff the event at the two grocery stores. Volunteers from the community will work one- or two-hour shifts during the time. Guy said volunteers would be needed to bag groceries at six registers at the two stores during the nine-hour fundraiser.
Guy said volunteers do not need to have any previous experience bagging groceries. Volunteers will receive a short training session from a Food City employee before their shift begins.
“It is called a celebrity bagging fundraiser, but everyone can volunteer,” Guy said.
The United Way has already received some volunteer sign-ups for the event, including some well-known citizens and community leaders. Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey, Elizabethton Police Department Chief Matt Bailey and President and CEO of Carter County Bank Dale Fair are some of the volunteers participating.
“The United Way is such an important community organization,” Humphrey said. “They help so many different people. I feel compelled to help them out.”
Guy said no specific goal had been set for the fundraiser. She said the fundraiser would be a good chance to share the mission of the United Way while adding funds to the campaign total. The United Way’s campaign goal for the 2013 year is $182,000, and $17,505 has been collected so far.
Agencies supported by the United Way are Adult Day Services, American Red Cross, Assistance and Resource Ministries, Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton, Community Day Care and Learning Center, Contact Ministries, Elizabethton Senior Citizens Center, Seqouyah Council Boy Scouts and UETHDA Neighborhood Service Center.
To volunteer or contribute to the United Way, contact the office at 543-6975 or at 527 E. Elk Ave. Contributions can also be sent to P.O. Box 1715, Elizabethton, TN 37644.