Regions Southwest Virginia

Two United Way agencies in Southwest Virginia merge

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The United Way of Russell and Washington Counties is merging with United Way Smyth County, Virginia. 

The combined organization will operate as United Way Virginia Highlands.

“The issues facing our children and families today acknowledge no geographical boundaries,” Travis Staton, CEO of the merged organization, said in a statement.  “Pooling our resources and best practices will allow us to more effectively invest our time, energy and dollars in our impact within the region, enabling us to truly get to the root causes of the many issues facing our friends and neighbors.” 

United Way officials said the goal of the merger is to leverage the strengths and resources of the former entities to streamline operations, increase funding and expand services in the three counties.

They noted that many residents in the region cross county lines in commuting to work.

A regional approach encompassing both place of residence and employment is more effective in serving residents and avoiding program duplications, United Way officials said.

The savings will allow more donor dollars to be spent directly on program services, officials said.

A regional board of directors, made up of residents from each of the three counties, will oversee the organization

United Way Virginia Highlands’ service area includes 117,000 residents and more than 20 towns and communities. Russell County has a population of 30,308; Smyth has 32,208 residents and Washington’s population is 54,876.

The United Way organization currently supports more than 60 nonprofit agencies in the three counties.


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