BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) — The United Way of the Lowcountry nominated Katie Phifer as someone who pays it forward.

She is the leader of the women’s group Women United and that group of volunteers is looking for new members in Beaufort and Jasper Counties.

Here is some of what they are responsible for:

• Women United supports educational needs in underserved areas of the Lowcountry while providing personal and professional development and networking opportunities for women. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the all-volunteer, women-led service group hosted its largest ever Power of the Purse event, raising more than $36,000 for its educational initiatives.

• Operation Backpack was instrumental in helping vulnerable students in Beaufort and Jasper counties begin the school year with the tools necessary to succeed in the classroom. Donated school supplies and backpacks were given to more than 850 students.

• Women United’s newest education support initiative, Mimi’s Closet, created teacher supply closets filled with essential school and personal supplies for underserved students to use during the school year.

• The Breaking Barriers to Education Fund helped fulfill needs that would otherwise prevent students from attending school or from reaching their full potential. The fund, which is administered by United Way’s HELPLINE, worked with school officials to directly remove financial barriers that stood in the way of a student’s education.

• The Women United Scholarship Fund awarded $1,000 scholarships to three local non-traditional female students pursuing higher education degrees. To date, Women United has presented 11 scholarships to local women attending the University of South Carolina Beaufort or Technical College of the Lowcountry.

The United Way of the Lowcountry is also kicking off its annual fundraising campaign. They are hoping to raise more than $2 million which will benefit more than 200,000 people in the region.

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