Archived Story

United Way help extends outside Tallapoosa County

Published 7:00pm Monday, November 11, 2013

The Lake Martin Area United Way helps a variety of organizations based in Tallapoosa County, but the United Way also lends a hand to a few groups outside the county line.
The Coosa County Sheriff’s Reserve is one such group that receives funding.
Coosa County Sheriff Terry Wilson said the United Way has a long history of helping Coosa County.
“We really appreciate the financial help they give,” Wilson said. “Most of the money goes to our school resource office (SRO).”
Funds from the United Way are donated to the Coosa County Sheriff’s Reserve, a non-profit organization that can in turn use those funds to help the Coosa County Sheriff’s Department based on the department’s needs.
And as Wilson said, these funds primarily go towards a police presence and anti-drug effort in the schools. Deputy Jason Smith serves as the SRO for all Coosa County schools.
“Most of the funding used goes to our SRO officer to help our students,” Wilson said. “One of the biggest things Smith utilizes those funds for is an event like Red Ribbon Week.”
Red Ribbon Week is a national campaign designed to teach children about the dangers of drug and alcohol use. Funds help purchase ribbons and instructional materials to allow Smith to educate Coosa County students.
As Wilson explained, the program serves to help keep children on the right track, but it also aims to prevent children from falling on the wrong side of the law due to choices about drugs and alcohol.
“Any time we can get a message through to our students on how dangerous drugs are, it is good all around,” Wilson said.