The United Way of Virginia’s Eastern Shore is a local volunteer organization established in 1991 by business people and community leaders who recognized the need to have a local organization that would be dedicated to helping the people of Virginia’s Eastern Shore by organizing and helping to raise financial support from local businesses and individuals for a variety of local charities.
The United Way Chapter has raised over $6, 728,140.00 as it soon begins its 28th campaign, aiding over 150 organizations that received funds either allocated by United Way or designated by individual contributors.
Funds go to provide emergency food and shelter; family counseling, health services; youth development and recreation programs in addition to many other services needed in the community. Costs for the campaign are kept low with about 90 percent of all donations going to improve the quality of life on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
This year’s campaign theme is, “What we do today can change the future.”
Wayne Bell, president of the United Way of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, says, “As president of the United Way, I am excited to have the husband and wife combo of Will Russell and Elizabeth (Dodd) Russell, who both have agreed to serve as the 2018-19 campaign co-chairs. I have the utmost trust that they will do an outstanding job and help us meet our campaign goal which will be determined in the near future.”
The Russells, married in 2017, have been extremely active in in business and civic events since returning to their native Eastern Shore after graduation from college.
Will, a 2005 graduate of Broadwater Academy who holds a business and economics degree from Randolph-Macon College, is the program manager of WESR 103.3 F.M. and 105.7 F.M. Coastal Country, is a member of the YMCA Board of Directors, past president of the Onancock Rotary Club, a member of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Boys and Girls Club and executive board member of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce.
Elizabeth, a 2008 graduate of Broadwater Academy who holds a business and economics degree from Hollins University, is the executive director of the Northampton County Chamber of Commerce. She coaches middle school girl’s volleyball and basketball at Broadwater Academy and is a member of the Christ Church Vestry and Hungars Cure Vestry, a member of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Garden Club and a executive board member of the Northampton Historic Preservation Society. She also is the owner of Elkington Events, an event venue near Eastville that she runs with the assistance of her husband.
Will and Elizabeth reside in Eastville with their black lab Maisey.