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UniCare, Walmart Organize Circle of Hope To Help Mountain Mission Meet Increased Demand for Assistance
Date:12/4/2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- UniCare Health Plan of West Virginia, Inc. and the Nitro Walmart Marketplace are working with West Virginia Radio Corporation to help Mountain Mission meet a significant increase for unexpected emergency needs assistance.

Through the "Circle of Hope" food drive events, being held this Friday and Saturday, more than $20,000 in cash will be raised and two trailers will be filled with food that will help thousands of area families pay bills, put food on their tables and clothes on their backs this holiday season.

"Due to the current economic downtown, we are witnessing a 20 percent increase in individuals and families seeking our assistance," said John Roberts, executive director of Mountain Mission. "I am overwhelmed that these organizations stepped up to help without even being asked."

UniCare, the state's largest Medicaid Manage Care Organization, and Walmart have donated $5,000 each to the event.

"UniCare has collaborated with Mountain Mission for many years and given the difficult economic challenges so many are experiencing, we felt now more than ever that this was the right time to help those in our community," said Mitch Collins, UniCare's director of Medicaid Field Operations.

"We are proud to work again with John and his team at Mountain Mission," said Rob Greenleaf, the store manager for the Nitro Walmart Marketplace. "With this year being especially tough, we knew this was a great organization to reach out to."

Ten other organizations and individuals have agreed to contribute at least $10,000 collectively to help Mountain Mission reach its goal. Those organizations include: Shoney's ($1,000), Star USA Federal Credit Union ($1,000), IVS Group ($1,000), and Good Shepherd Mortuary ($1,000).

West Virginia Radio Corporation's radio stations V100, The Wolf, The Beat, Talk Radio 58 WCHS, and WKAZ will broadcast live for 13 hours from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. from the drop off location next to their Virginia Street offices on Friday, Dec. 5. Mountain Mission will also be at the Nitro Walmart Marketplace on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Roberts says his organization will also accept cash and the following items: Boxed turkey dressing, sweet potatoes, fruit cocktail, 10-pound bag of potatoes, macaroni and cheese, apple sauce, five-pound bags of sugar and brownie mix. Mountain Mission will have staff available to provide receipts.

Mountain Mission is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that helps more than 9,000 people annually.


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SOURCE UniCare Health Plan of West Virginia, Inc.
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