By Paula Walter
The United Way of Mountain City Johnson County has been an all-volunteer organization since its formation in 1997. The goal for 2017 remains the same as the previous year at $40,000. Each year local organizations apply for monies to better the lives of those living in Johnson County. An application is filled out requesting assistance and is then reviewed by the board for approval.
This year the agencies submitting a request for funding in the county are as follows: Second District Fire Department, this department services the Cold Springs and Forge Creek area of the county; Trade Volunteer Fire Department will use the funds they receive to purchase an additional set of scene lights needed for emergency situations; Neva Volunteer Fire Department has dropped their ISO rating to five due to their diligent training and equipment. As a result, insurance prices in the Neva area businesses will be impacted; Butler Volunteer Fire Department will purchase additional pike poles to use in fighting building fire. This purchase will also help reduce their ISO ratings; The Shady Valley Volunteer Department will use monies received to buy new turn out gear. Again, their ISO rating is five. This department is home to the Johnson County Search and Rescue Command Trailer that is used for rescues and wild fires; The Doe Valley Fire Department provides an emergency shelter along with fundraising activities to purchase equipment that is greatly needed; The Johnson County 4-H, who work to expand the horizons of children in the county by having scholarships available to youth in elementary, middle and high school to attend summer camps; the American Red Cross served 11 families this past year in Johnson County alone after house fire. They additionally certified 231 students and adults in CPR and first aid; The Mountain City Johnson County Community Center offers a place for children in the county to go after school hours. The monies received will provide scholarships for some of the children; The Johnson County Emergency Heating Assistance Fund assisted 52 residents of the county over 65 who could not afford to have enough heat to keep themselves warm this past winter; The Imagination Library gives a book a month to every child in the county from birth through five years old. They currently give out books to 632 children a year; The Johnson County Cancer Support is there to provide emotional, financial and material support for those dealing with cancer; Safe Haven offers shelter to women and children that are dealing with domestic abuse and violence in their homes; The Johnson County Senior Center provides meals, friendship, exercise, educational opportunities and even travel for those over 55; Legal Aid of Tennessee helps women who are victims of domestic abuse by helping them with legal issues. They work hand in hand with Safe Haven to provide these services.
The members that serve on the board of the United Way of Mountain City and Johnson County are all volunteers. The members are as follows: Frank Arnold, Flora Bellamy, Priscilla Davis, Judy McGuire, Tom Neaves, Ruth Ann Osborne, Kim Pope, Temple Reece, Bobbie Smith, Leni Smith and Norma Sutherland.