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United Way touts achievements for Rotary
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Volunteers pick up trash during the Keep Liberty Clean Campaign, part of the Great American Cleanup. - photo by Photo provided.

People often are skeptical of donating to charities because it's hard to find out exactly where the money goes. On Tuesday, United Way of the Coastal Empire Director Leah Poole and Kim Thomas showed local Rotarians a slide show detailing their efforts to improve the community with $212,000 raised by the United Way.
Among the list of community events Poole cited was The Field of Hope, an annual event during which United Way members hang one American flag for each case of substantiated child abuse. Poole said the sight of all the flags — last year there were 276 — makes a big impact.
Other events involved cleaning up Liberty County and spreading environmental awareness. As part of
the Keep Liberty Clean
campaign, volunteers at
a Gumbranch clean-up cleared 1 ton of trash.
"We cleaned up a ton of trash." Poole said.
Other environmental activities include a tree-planting on Arbor Day during which 120 trees were planted, and a plastic bottle recycling campaign that involved seven local schools. The top schools were Lewis Frasier, which collected two tons of trash, and First United Methodist Preschool, which collected one and a half tons of plastic.
In partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Liberty County and the Rotary Club, The United Way also planned an Earth Day celebration and held a clean community challenge that drew more than 150 volunteers
"There's a lot of great things that happen," Thomas said.

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