PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

August 28, 2013

United Way kicks off campaign season

Erinn Callahan
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — When Cory Moss handed a few dollars to a young man in need and went about his way, one thought lingered in his mind: “I should have done more.”

“We can all do a little more than we think we can,” said Moss, maintenance director at Valero in Port Arthur.

It is that mindset that earned the Abbeville, La., native — who has lived in Port Arthur for nearly five years — the LIVE UNITED honoree at the United Way of Mid and South Jefferson County’s kickoff breakfast on Monday at United Methodist Temple. Moss served as chairman for last year’s Valero Port Arthur United Way campaign.

“Last year he led Valero through a fabulous campaign,” said executive director Janie Johnson. “He gives so much.”

Growing up on a farm in the heart of Cajun Country left no doubt in Moss’ mind about the importance of community. He estimated that “half the food” he ate was game he’d collected for himself.

“Not only did you do that as a family, but you did it as a group and a community,” Moss said. “Many times you had more than you could eat, but you shared with your neighbors and your friends.”

Moss said he was very humbled by the award, but was quick to shift the emphasis to United Way.

“One person can have an impact, but it takes a community to make the things happen,” he said. “There’s been generations of people in this community who have made this place what it is.”

In 2013, 20 agencies received community investment grants, and 37 programs were supported by United Way donors.

“You know when you give to the United Way, it’s a safe investment,” said vice president Barbara Phillips.

Mid and South Jefferson County differs from others by their sense of community, Phillips said.

“We work together to succeed,” she said. “And who’s always right there with us, tackling those tough issues that threaten our success? The United Way.”

The breakfast kicked off the United Way’s 2013 campaign season, during which the organization hopes to meet a goal of $1 million.

“We’re ready to go,” Johnson said. “We’ve had meetings with a lot of heavy industry lately, so we’ll be ready to hit the ground running soon.”

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA