Spirit gear

With its in-person spring fundraiser moved to fall, the Nacogdoches Area United Way is using school spirit to help local nonprofits through the pandemic and aftermath of winter storms.

“Right now we’ve got folks out of work; they miss a paycheck and then spiral downward,” said local United Way CEO Gary Lee Ashcraft. “We help support agencies like Love INC, which is paying people’s plumbing bills from the storm. That’s living united — that’s what we are all about.”

Live United, the motto and registered trademark of United Way Worldwide, is printed on the school spirit items being offered as a fundraiser for the local United Way through midnight this Monday.

The United Way’s spring event, Do Dat BBQ, was held online in 2020 due to the pandemic, and this year is being moved to the fall.

With the Expo Center already booked, the Sept. 25 Do Dat event will be held at the A.L. Mangham Jr. Regional Airport for 2021.

“A lot of the Spring events have moved to the fall, so we’re going to have a busy fall in Nacogdoches,” Ashcraft said. “We hope to have an in-person campaign kick-off in August.”

Through the Spring Spirit Fundraiser, polos, T-shirts and caps can be customized for any Nacogdoches County school, with proceeds going benefiting local agencies.

“You pick your color and school, and (polo shirts) have the United Way logo on one sleeve and school logo on the other,” Ashcraft said.

Items range in price from $14 to $27.

“We wanted to foster school spirit and engage the schools with the United Way and create a connection,” said board chairwoman Kinnie Reina.

Thus far, Chireno ISD schools are leading the pack in spirit gear sales, she said, followed by Nacogdoches ISD campuses. Merchandise can be ordered online at www.unitedwaynac.org and items will be ready for pickup April 20. For information, call 936-564-5869.

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