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Bristol Herald Courier - July 8, 2020

BRISTOL, Va. — In response to hardships many are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, The United Co. Foundation Ministry’s soup kitchen is providing its clients with food boxes instead of soup.

The soup kitchen, which is on the campus of the former Sullins College in Bristol, Virginia, started the food box program in June, and it continues through July. One box provides enough food for each recipient to have a lunch every day for a month, said Peggy Littleton of The United Co. Foundation.

Michelle Booher, executive director of the Soup Kitchen, said that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic deepened the need for the pantry’s service in the community. She added that the pandemic also made the staff more aware of food preparation practices.

“Fortunately, the way the food is packaged, it’s like getting takeout, and since some of our recipients are older and challenged in their mobility, having these meals brought to them during this time is an increasingly essential service,” Booher said.

For more than two decades, the soup kitchen has prepared and delivered soup, crackers, and milk five days a week to Bristol, Virginia residents in need. It is one of the largest free kitchen programs in the region, according to a news release from The United Co. Foundation.

“Folks rely on this service. It is such a worthwhile investment of our time, and it makes our hearts feel good to know we’re making a difference in our community,” Booher said in the release.

Funded and operated by the foundation, the soup kitchen works in collaboration with area churches and volunteers to prepare and distribute the meals. The service was expanded earlier this year to include residents of Bristol, Tennessee, and currently provides meals for up to 1,000 individuals each weekday.


Michelle Booher (left), executive director of the Soup Kitchen, and April Hayes help load a shipment of food boxes for June's distribution.


Abingdon, Va. —

Tomorrow's workforce in southwest Virginia received  a boost in form of a %50,000 investment from The United Company Foundation to united Way of Southwest Virginia's Ignite Program.

The program is the only regional workforce initiative that serves the emerging workforce of almost 30,000 6th - 12th grade students in the region. The program is a partnership among UWSVWA, 8 local school systems, 5 community colleges, and 80 employers in Southwest Virginia, representing approximately 20% of the land territory of the Commonwealth. 

“We are incredibly thankful for this amazing contribution to our Ignite program, and our area’s workforce of tomorrow as a whole,” said Travis Staton, President & CEO of UWSWVA. “We believe that career awareness and hands-on learning can tap into that workforce to help keep workers right here at home. The generosity of The United Co. Foundation will help us continue that mission.


United Company Charitable Foundation Gives Holston Home Major Contribution

The Greeneville-based Holston United Methodist Home for Children has received $200,000 from The United Company Charitable Foundation, the first contribution toward a $1 million gift.

The donation was announced May 31 at the annual "Friends of Children" luncheon held this year at the Olde Farm in Bristol, Va.

James "Jim" McGlothlin, chairman of The United Company Charitable Foundation, made the surprise announcement following a passionate speech he gave about how the prosperous should care for those less fortunate, especially children.

"Whose children are they?" McGlothlin asked the large group of invited guests. "They are all of our children."

McGlothlin and his wife, Fran, and Nick Street and his wife, Fay, made the donation in honor of Lois Clarke, president of The United Company, a family friend who has worked with that company for many years.

McGlothlin is chairman and CEO of The United Company and one of the founders of United Coal Company.

He and his wife are renowned philanthropists.

Clarke noted that the donation was a "complete surprise" to her.

"I am overwhelmed by the generosity," Clarke said. "What a wonderful and blessed gift for the children of our area. My husband and family are very grateful for this honor."

McGlothlin presented Holston Home with a check for $200,000 at the luncheon and pledged to pay the remainder over the next five years, for a gift totaling $1 million.

"We are greatly blessed by this donation today," the Rev. Charles A. Hutchins, Holston Home vice president of development and church relations, said.

"We will be good stewards with this money, which will be used to help the children."

Arthur S. Masker, Holston Home's president and CEO, added: "We are most thankful for the generosity shown by this donation. It will impact the lives of many children and their families for some time to come."

Founded in 1895, Holston Home has the Wiley Residential Center in Greeneville, and family service centers in Johnson City, Knoxville, Chattanooga and Bristol, Va.

The non-profit organization serves around 400 children and families each day, according to a news release.

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