About Us 2018-05-10T14:16:31+00:00

About Us


For more than 50 years, United Way has been in Southwest Virginia. Needs have changed in our region during this time, and United Way has responded to these changes, shifting focus from treating symptoms to addressing root causes – moving from being recognized as a fund raiser and distributor to an organization focused on a community impact model to improve the region’s health, education, and financial stability.


United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia because they are the building blocks for a good quality of life. Through an initiative-based cradle-to-career approach, United Way of Southwest Virginia is creating sustainable solutions to address the challenges facing tomorrow’s workforce. United Way convenes cross-sector partners to make an impact on the most complex problems in our region. Through collaboration with government, business, nonprofit and individuals, United Way innovates for positive, lasting social change. With a footprint that covers almost 15% of the state of Virginia, United Way of Southwest Virginia serves Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington and Wise, and the cities of Galax and Norton.


We are more than the fundraisers. We are the hand-raisers. The game-changers.

  • We create local, innovative solutions that tackle the toughest problems in the areas of health, education and financial stability.
  • We offer local expertise and a global footprint.
  • We provide leadership, influence and a trusted brand.
  • We are one network of individuals and organizations in nearly 1,800 communities, working together to inspire and transform.


Together, we constantly monitor the problems facing our community and find solutions to our most pressing needs.

We involve experts, leaders, practitioners, neighborhoods, community members, governments, and systems. We work across partisan and income divides, leading community conversations and bringing people from all walks of life into the solution conversation.

Whether we’re leading a coalition, developing an initiative, driving agencies to common outcomes, or creating collective impact, United Way is a driving force – in communities and for communities.

There is more work to do in Southwest Virginia, but we can’t do it on our own. We need you.

Change doesn’t happen alone. Hope isn’t a one-man band. We have one life. To live better, we must LIVE UNITED.

Get involved: give, advocate, or volunteer.


Our Program Services


United Way of Southwest Virginia is fighting for the health of the region by promoting healthy eating and physical activity, expanding access to quality health care, lowering the cost of prescription medications, building a more resilient community, and integrating health into early childhood development.

To find out more, visit unitedwayswva.org/health.


United Way of Southwest Virginia is fighting for the education of the region by making sure children and youth can start school ready to succeed, become proficient readers at a young age, stay on track in middle school, earn their high school diploma, and pursue a higher education or career.

To find out more, visit unitedwayswva.org/education.


United Way of Southwest Virginia is fighting for the financial stability of the region by empowering people to get on stable financial ground with proven methods like tax preparation assistance, money management, and community partnerships aimed at helping local families keep their hard-earned money. The result is a thriving community where everyone has more opportunity to succeed.

To find out more, visit unitedwayswva.org/financial-stability.

Our Partner Agencies

Our 2017-2018 Partner Agencies are as follows:

Financial Empowerment Network

Southwest VA Workforce Development Board
Virginia Cooperative Extension (VT)

Grade Level Reading

Bland County Public School
HELP – Turning Pages
Norton Preschool Classroom
Smyth County Schools

Healthy Eating

Mountain Empire Older Citizens
Teen Venture Center

Ignite (Youth Success)

Clinch Valley Community Action
Rooftop of Virginia CAP
Southwest VA AHEC
Virginia Cooperative Extension (VT)
Washington County 4-H

Children’s Oral Health and Prevention Services

Mountain Empire Older Citizens

Uniting for Play

Dante Community Association
Giles County FOCUS Project
Smyth County Special Games
Sugar Grove Elementary School
Town of Dungannon Playground

Our Board

United Way of Southwest Virginia is a volunteer-directed organization. We are governed by a local volunteer Board of Directors that represents every sector and region that we serve.

The Board is comprised of local business and civic leaders from throughout the community. Members provide leadership for vision and overall direction, approve the annual business plan, goals and priority outcomes, monitor progress, and have a fiduciary responsibility for the programmatic and fiscal integrity of the organization.

Executive Committee
Marie Appleby, Chair of the Board
Donnie Meadows, Vice Chair
Mary Begley, 2nd Vice Chair
Alan Jones, Jr., Treasurer
Paul Cox, Vice Treasurer
Barbara Farmer, Secretary

Board Members
Tommy Casteel
Lori Crisp
Stacey Ely
Kim Farris-Luke
Henry Hartsock
Deborah Icenhour
Steve Kegley
Brendan McSheehy
Dan Minahan
Audrey Powers
Brad Robinson
Dr. Mike Robinson
Dr. Kris Westover

Our Staff

Our extraordinary team is responsible for the day-to-day operation of United Way of Southwest Virginia. Our United Way team includes administrative staff, as well as program directors and coordinators of services United Way of Southwest Virginia provides to the community in the areas of health, education and financial stability.

Our Corporate and Media Partners

These companies and organizations have made living united a top priority.

Our Accountability

For United Way, success means measurable improvements in the communities we serve. Setting high standards for ourselves and for our local partners is critical for that success. Click here to see the standards we adhere to.