FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2016
Columbia, SC – After ten years of leadership, Tim Ervolina is making plans to step down as President and CEO of United Way Association of South Carolina (UWASC) in 2016. “This has been an amazing journey—and it has not been without its missteps. (I’m hoping that you have forgotten them all, even though I haven’t!) Together we’ve built a powerful engine for change and community impact in South Carolina.” Ervolina stated in a letter to the UWASC Board of Directors.
Ervolina joined UWASC in 2006, where he’s lead the growth and development of the organization that provides support to the 25 local United Way organizations in South Carolina. During his tenure, UWASC has thrived as a leader in addressing issues impacting families in South Carolina and facilitating collaborative solutions on these issues. Millions of dollars in funding have been leveraged for local United Ways and their partners, with investments in education, income, health care access and basic needs.
Under Governor Mark Sanford, UWASC became South Carolina’s lead agency for volunteerism as the state Commission on National and Community Service. A Gubernatorial appointee, Missy Santorum, chairs the Commission, which funds and oversees AmeriCorps programs statewide. The Commission distributes nearly $2,000,000 annually to such AmeriCorps programs as Teach for America and City Year.
Ervolina established the South Carolina 2-1-1 Information and Referral call center in 2009. What began as a small group of crisis and information lines serving Columbia, Charleston and Aiken has grown into a statewide and national information and referral resource. During 2015, the SC 2-1-1 call center fielded more than 3.5 million calls and online messages from people seeking community services and public benefits such as TANF, SNAP and Medicaid. SC 2-1-1 features an integrated a crisis and suicide prevention line, special services for returning veterans, and, as one of five contact centers across America help rescue those sold into modern slavery, is part of United Way Worldwide’s Center on Human Trafficking and Slavery.
Thanks to Ervolina’s vision, United Way was a major partner during the state’s response to the historic October 2015 floods. The organization assisted with set-up and management of the Public Information Phone System (PIPS) at the Emergency Operations Center. Ervolina established a statewide United Way Flood Recovery Fund to serve survivors, which has raised more than $400,000 for local United Ways affected by the flood. UWASC has deployed more than 100 short-term disaster relief AmeriCorps members since the flood, helping to coordinate the myriad of needs, from muck-outs and mold remediation to rebuilding entire homes.
Ervolina has worked to garner multi-organizational support for advocacy efforts that have moved South Carolina’s United Ways from being bystanders in public policy to leaders. Ervolina notes, “United Way’s voice is clear and powerful at the State House. Elected officials from both parties listen to us, because they know our work is bi-partisan, fair and truthful.”
Ervolina began his career at United Way in 1995, in Central Florida. Required to find a community service agency in which to serve as part of the ordination to the ministry of the Episcopal Church, he selected United Way. “I wasn’t very qualified, “ he laughs, “but I made up for it with a passion to help ‘the least of these.’” That passion still drives him. Pointing to the Hebrew inscription he has tattooed on his right arm, he says, “This is the scripture Dr. King preached on the night before he was murdered. It’s Amos 5:24 and it says, ‘Let justice roll down like a river.’ Justice in the biblical sense is a healing of the world. That has always been my motivation for doing this work.”
The United Way Association of South Carolina's mission is to maximize the capacity and effectiveness of local United Ways and to provide leadership on issues of significance to the United Way system. For more information, visit www.UWASC.org.
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