Van Buren County United Way (VBCUW), based in Paw Paw, and United Way of Southwest Michigan (UWSM), with its offices in St. Joseph, officially merged July 1, to offer increased efficiencies, reduce duplications, and strengthen the programs and services United Way offers to the southwest corner of the state. To celebrate this coming-together, Anna Murphy, CEO of UWSM; Vera Sebree, Executive Director of VBCUW; and  members of their staff joined ambassadors from the Paw Paw Area Chamber of Commerce and others for a ribbon cutting last Thursday afternoon. Sebree, and Murphy, shown cutting the ribbon, expressed their belief that the merger provides more resources for the non-profit community and residents of Van Buren County.  Van Buren joins Berrien and Cass counties under the UWSM name. Sebree will continue to assist UWSM in creating campaign strategies and meeting with key stakeholders, still serving out of the VBCUW Paw Paw office.  According to Murphy, money raised in Van Buren County will be used to support its local communities and programs.  
    Courier-Leader photo/Robin Griffin

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