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May 27, 2024 8:42 am

Wayne County resident, companies earn United Way Spirit of North Carolina Awards

GOLDSBORO United Way of Wayne County announced recently that Bethany Perry, US Cargo Systems, Sentry Insurance Company, Franklin Baking Company and Jackson & Sons have been awarded a 2023 Spirit of North Carolina Award. Each of the above listed has modeled a dedication to community service through their fundraising, volunteer and advocacy efforts.

United Way of North Carolina’s annual Spirit of North Carolina Award celebrates individuals and organizations for their exemplary partnership demonstrated through fundraising and volunteer efforts, outstanding leadership and creative team building. Additionally, organizations focusing on Diversity Equity and Inclusion and individuals who are champions of United Way will also be celebrated. On April 17, at Wayne Community College, United Way of North Carolina will recognize 21 winners representing five local United Ways at the Eastern Regional event.

“The Spirit of North Carolina Award shines a light on our incredible partners, who are supporting United Way’s work and helping us achieve our goals,” said Sherry Archibald, Executive Director of United Way of Wayne County. “Congratulations to all the winners who have collectively made a huge impact in the lives of our neighbors across our county and the state.”

Bethany Perry was recognized as a United Way Community Ambassador for her outstanding support of United Way for more than 20 years, but especially for the last five years. During this time, she has gone above and beyond the call of a volunteer to become a true Ambassador of United Way. Perry lives, breathes, and speaks the United Way mission all while being supportive, unintrusive, and working towards the collective goal of improving lives in Wayne County.

US Cargo Systems was recognized for Building Momentum and Sustainability Through Engaged Leadership or Employees for stepping out with stronger engagement and participation during their 2023 campaign. Over the last two years, US Cargo Systems has increased their employee participation by 157% and their monetary investments by 170% by inviting employees to meet in small groups to engage each individual on a personal level, share the mission and resources of United Way, and provide an intimate opportunity to invest.

Sentry Insurance Company was recognized for Impactful and Engaging Campaign Event or Activity by creating a week-long celebration of their annual United Way campaign. It began with a “carnival” that included multiple putt-putt courses, an impressive number of raffle items that filled more than 10 tables, a cake walk, a parking spot raffle, and so much more. Sentry’s campaign grew 23% thanks to these events.

Franklin Baking Company was also recognized for Impactful and Engaging Campaign Event or Activity by taking home the ideas shared with them at the 2023 Best Practice Showcase at the United Way of NC Annual Meeting and creating their own “Employee Day”. They invited their employees and their family members out for a day of fun and food to celebrate United Way. Their ability to build off the ideas presented to them by other investors and make them their own is what makes Franklin Baking Company such an impactful supporter of United Way.

Jackson & Sons was recognized for Investment in Long-Term Sustainable Impact. A long-time supporter of not only United Way, but their community, Jackson & Sons raises awareness of the organization by seeking out volunteer opportunities. Their leadership team exemplifies a community-minded culture by partnering with United Way and inviting staff to join them on community action days to build awareness and encourage volunteer opportunities for their staff at each weekly meeting.

“We are honored to have these businesses and individuals as key stakeholders for a shared future where every North Carolinian thrives and reaches their full potential,” said Archibald.  “Moreover, we are thrilled to be the host for this ceremony for the second year in a row.”

For more information about the Spirit of North Carolina Award and a complete list of winners, visit