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United Way of Virginias addresses problems

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. -- The United Way of the Virginias executive director has resigned as the charity organization works to regain its tax-exempt status and state registration.

President Gary Denardo tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph ( ) that the organization has suspended a fund campaign. It also isn't accepting donations until its tax-exempt status and charity registration are restored.

Denardo says executive director Michelle Carter submitted her resignation. Carter declined to comment.

"We are basically trying to get this all straightened out before we move forward," Denardo said. "The United Way does such a great job for the local people. There are so many people in need and we help so many people and agencies, and we fund so many of the agencies. They do so much in the area. It's a shame this has come up and basically stopped us as far as moving on with our funding and all of our help. There are so many people in need and their needs don't stop. It's hard to have your hands tied when people are begging you for heat and food."

The Bluefield, W.Va.-based organization serves Mercer and McDowell counties in West Virginia and Buchanan, Bland and Tazewell counties in Virginia.

West Virginia Secretary of State's Office spokesman Jake Glance said that the organization lost its tax-exempt status and charity registration in 2008 because it didn't file required reports.

Denardo said that the organization has paid $1,525 in late filing and registration fees. It also has submitted a form to the Internal Revenue Service to register as a charity.


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