Local BB&T bank employees delivered help by the bagful to the United Way of Effingham County.
BB&T donated 100 bags of essential items such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors and laundry detergent — about $1,500 worth — to the Robert H. Demere Jr. United Way Effingham Service Center in Rincon.
“Y’all gave us Christmas in June,” the United Way’s Destiny Bradshaw told the BB&T employees as they finished bringing in the bags.
A “help bag” will be given to anyone who visits the United Way office to apply for any type of assistance. The United Way offers several services, including providing food, clothing, job training and job search assistance.
“If they’re applying for assistance, they probably need these basic items we take for granted,” said Taryn Knick, financial center leader for the BB&T branch in Rincon.
The United Way is not designed to give people immediate help, Bradshaw pointed out. Rather, people sign up to be part of a program, such as the Center for Working Families or the Food Outreach Co-op of Effingham.
But, she added, a “help bag” may be just what someone needs in the moment. She told the story of a mother who was down to her last $10, and receiving a bag of free toiletries from the United Way enabled her to use the last of her money to buy diapers.
BB&T made the donation through its Lighthouse Project, a program for employees to volunteer their time to help those less fortunate in the community. The Lighthouse Project supports a different organization each year, and this year BB&T chose to help the United Way.
“The concept is simple,” said BB&T Chairman and CEO Kelly King. “We want every one of our associates physically working in their communities to make a tangible difference in people’s lives.”
The Lighthouse Project is now in its fifth year. According to BB&T, the program has helped more than 6.7 million people in 25 states over the past four years, with company associates working over 200,000 volunteer hours on more than 4,400 projects.