Greater Pee Dee Business Journal November/December 2011 : Page 25

“Johnson Controls is moving in this direction because of its existing level of community involvement and caring, its generosity in working with non-profit organizations, and its history of allow-ing employees at its two Florence area facilities to work on projects benefiting the community,” says Newby. The Project H.O.P.E. grant has set in motion another initiative through the United Way – access for Florence County residents to the 2-1-1 Call Center. Located in Columbia, the call center is a clearinghouse for families and individuals to confidentially request emergency services such as healthcare, food, clothing, counsel-ing, or shelter. Florence’s ability to tap into the call center is a result of a six figure grant given to the United Way by the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Ameri-Corps program, a national network of volunteers. AmeriCorps members, who range from college students to retirees, will provide voluntary services through on-site work at organizations includ-ing: Florence Area Literary Council, Florence-Darlington Technical College, Lighthouse Ministries, and the United Way of Florence County. “We have to credit Johnson Controls’ generosity for kick-starting this triple blessing,” says Newby. “The grant led to our AmeriCorps relation-ship which in turn opened up the 2-1-1 Call Center to our county. We have always needed the call center, and the recession has increased that need. We are proud to be able to immediately offer a solution to our residents in need. “It is a tremendous opportunity to create these initiatives,” Newby continues. “Unemployment, with its unfortunate side effects of homelessness and hunger, is our number one problem. Together we can solve it.” GPD BJ Stephanie Navarro, United Way of Florence County Community Resource Manager How can you help? The United Way of Florence coordinates the distribution of monetary and volunteer resources throughout the county. To give or volunteer, contact United Way President E.J. Newby at (843) 662-2407 or ejnewby@uwflorence.org. For more information about Project H.O.P.E. or AmeriCorps, contact Project H.O.P.E. Director Les Echols at (843) 662-2407 or lechols@uwflorence.org. How can you request help? For employment services through Project H.O.P.E., visit www.uwflorence.org. For emergency or social services, dial 211 from your telephone. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 GREATER PEE DEE BUSINESS JOURNAL | 25

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