Local Depot Day a way for United Way to get the word out | CullmanSense

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Depot Day a way for United Way to get the word out

The inflatable water slide was a huge hit with the kids at Saturday's Depot Day at Depot Park. / W.C. Mann

CULLMAN - On Saturday morning, folks from around Cullman were invited to Depot Park to enjoy free community fun and learn about the services that the United Way of Cullman County (UWCC) provides from its office in the old Cullman Depot.  Hundreds of visitors were treated to free entertainment, games and inflatables.  A car show took place in the parking area immediately north of the walk of flags.  On a hot August day, kids lined up to try out the inflatable water slide, and local school principals took their turns on the seat in a dunking booth while crowds of students waited their turn to try and put them in.  Each of the UWCC partner agencies 16 area was present, distributing information and putting on kids' activities.

UWCC Executive Director Sammie Danford explained that Depot Day “is to educate the public of where we are, and the agencies that we partner with that provide the services, because all the money that comes to United Way, it goes back out to help financially support all our agencies.  They’re the ones that do the primary service.”

UWCC serves as a clearinghouse for funding and information for 16 area agencies, and uses accountability measures to ensure that funding is properly used.  This year’s partner agencies include 4-H Clubs of Cullman County, American Red Cross, Commission on Aging, Cullman Caring for Kids, Cullman County Center for the Developmentally Disabled, Daystar House, Easter Seals, First Call for Help, Foster Grandparents & Senior Companion Program, Girl Scouts, Good Samaritan Health Clinic, Hope Horses Inc., Hospice of Cullman County, Pilot Light House, Saving Forgotten Warriors, Victim Services, and Youth Advocate Programs Inc.

“We monitor what they do,” said Danford.  “There’s accountability; we get a report from them every quarter to validate what they’ve done with our money, how many clients they’ve served.  We’re making sure they do with their money what they told us was going to be done.”

Approximately 98 percent of all money donated to UWCC remains in the county.  Of roughly $200,000 given each year, $4,000 goes to the international United Way; and some of that will come back to the county office in the form of coverage for paperwork, and travel costs for local personnel to attend regional and national events.

Sponsors for Depot Day 2017 included Rehau, Reliance Worldwide, and Cullman Parks and Recreation.

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  • W.C. Mann
    United Way of Cullman County Executive Director Sammie Danford catches her breath during a busy event.
  • W.C. Mann
    East Elementary Principal David Wiggins sees kids line up for their chance to dunk him.