(Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff)
A husband and father of two, Nickell said a phone call from campaign director Glenna Shy started his now four-year involvement with United Way. "Glenna just called me up (on behalf of United Way) and asked if I wanted to be on the board," he recalled.
Shy said Nickell, 2002-2003 United Way chairperson, is so community-minded and added that United Way chairpersons really work hard and do a lot for the community.
The United Way of Sikeston will literally "kick off" their fund raising campaign Sept. 20 at Sikeston High School's first home football game.
"Last year's campaign was successful," Nickell said. "A lot of our agencies came and most of the board. We hope it's like that this year."
This year before the game, the United Way board members will be introduced and the agencies United Way is sponsoring will be announced, Nickell said. They just want to inform the community United Way is kicking off its campaign, he added.
The campaign goal for 2002-2003 is the same as the previous two years, $76,000. Last year the organization raised $88,237.
Nickell reminds donors that when they give one time to United Way they are taking care of 17 different agencies.
"We try to reach out to every group so we can reach a wide area," Shy said. "It's not just our community, we serve other communities, too."
One agency United Way has focused on this year is the Nutrition Center. United Way aids centers in East Prairie, New Madrid, Portageville and Sikeston.
"Recently we've really concentrated on the elderly," Nickell explained. "With the state being short on funds for food programs, we decided they could probably use some extra funding."
Shy agreed, but added that United Way cares for all of their agencies. A couple new agencies were added to United Way's list this year, she said. They are the House of Refuge for Abused and Battered Women and Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence.
Other agencies will benefit from the money raised by United Way over the next months. These agencies include: Bootheel Counseling Services, Boy and Girl Scouts, Delta Area Blind, Foster Grandparents Program, Kenny Rogers Children's Center, Mission Missouri, Sikeston Rescue Mission, Scott and Mississippi Transit Systems and the YMCA of Southeast Missouri.
As United Way chairman, Nickell's duties consist of calling or visiting businesses and asking for donations. "Just the other day I met with the new teachers at Sikeston and explained what United Way is about," Nickell said. "Several of them were interested."
Nickell is also scheduled to make appearances at the Sikeston Power Plant and the Lion's Club luncheon in September, he said.
"If people can give, then that's great, and if they're not able to, that's OK, too," Nickell said.
For more information about making contributions, call the United Way of Sikeston office at (573) 471-0310.
Contributions can be mailed them to 6 Mini Drive, Sikeston, MO 63801.