CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — Chatham County decided to honor our local United Way by declaring Oct. 5 as “United Way Day.”

Chatham County Commissioners came to this decision on Sept. 22. The proclamation is meant to highlight the United Way of the Coastal Empire’s 85 years of service to the community as well as the strong partnership between the United Way and Chatham County.

“We are grateful for our partnership with Chatham County and honored the Chatham County Commission recognized United Way with this special proclamation,” said Brynn Grant, president & CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire in a press release on Wednesday. “Team Chatham is one of the strongest and most dedicated United Way partners, consistently on our list of the “Top 10” most generous organizations in the entire region.”

Chatham County Commission Chairman Chester A. Ellis addressed United Way leadership by saying, “Thank you so much for the work United Way does and the job you do in this community. You all are what I call those unsung heroes that live and do in our community. Chatham County employees have done a great job of contributing to United Way, and I applaud them for doing that. I want to make sure we set the pace and win the race.”

Oct. 5 is a meaningful day for the organization. One of its founding members, Herschel V. Jenkins, who was also a former publisher of the Savannah Morning News and the Savannah Evening Press, was born on that day. Jenkins is described as a “community-building pioneer who believed in the importance of working together to achieve great things.”

In 1955, Jenkins set aside a trust which, when combined with other income, covers the majority of the United Way’s administrative and fundraising which allows the organization to use donor funds where they are most needed in the community.