Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 3, 2013

United Way of the Virginias no longer in worldwide group

BLUEFIELD — A United Way organization that for years served West Virginia and Virginia counties has been removed from the United Way worldwide organization.

United Way Worldwide’s Board of Directors met Monday and removed the United Way of the Virginias from their membership, United Way organizations in southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia were told.

The United Way of Southern West Virginia will be serving the West Virginia counties, Margaret O’Neal, its executive director, said.

“The United Way Worldwide has asked us to serve the communities of Mercer and McDowell counties, including the town of Bluefield, Va.,” O’Neal said. “This is all in the early stages, and our primary focus will be on serving the needs of those communities.”

The United Way of Southern West Virginia will host an informational breakfast on Dec. 10 in Bluefield.

“We are sending out invitations. That will be for the business and corporate community that has questions about donations,” O’Neal said.

Virginia counties formerly served by the United Way of the Virginias will now be served by the United Way of Virginia Highlands, she said. That organization’s director was not immediately available for comment.

In December 2008, the United Way of the Virginias lost its tax-exempt status and state licensing, two requirements it had to meet in order to solicit and accept charitable donations. The losses occurred because the organization had not filed the necessary reports, Jake Glance, a spokesperson for the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, said in October when the problem became public. Organizations must register annually with the Internal Revenue Service; this documentation must also be filed with the Secretary of State.

The United Way of Virginias Executive Director Michelle Carter resigned in October.

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