Nineteen Sevier County agencies are re-evaluating their budgets after the United Way of Sevier County announced they will no longer be able to provide funding.
Wednesday, the United Way told the agencies they could be shutting their doors by the end of the year if they do not receive major support.
This board decision comes on the heels of an announcement that executive director, Tom Newman, is stepping down.
Board Chairman Stacie McCarter said the board thought for months about the decision and determined at their current level of support they can no longer operate.
'"It was the board's feeling that we couldn't survive right now," McCarter said.
UWSC provides funding to 19 agencies including the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center, and Seymour Volunteer Fire Department.
The Boys and Girls Club received $20,000 in 2012.
"We have to have a balanced budget... something will have to be cut," said Boys and Girls Club Chief Operating Officer, Mark Ross. He said that will likely come down to personnel.
But Ross said the 1,600 kids he serves at five locations need the services they've been providing for 20 years. "Failure is not an option. We serve kids and kids don't always have a vote."
The Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center received $30,000 in 2012.
"In our case, that's half of our therapy program," said Director Donna Koester. She said that money provides a salary for one therapist who helps 40 sexually and physically abused children.
"There's a pall over us today as if someone we love has passed," she said.
McCarter said the problems started when the economy tanked in 2008. They tried to make up by cutting a staff person and finding a rent-free office, but the fundraising just wasn't there.
"Our best year was around a million [dollars]," McCarter said of their past campaign budgets.
Their campaign this year brought in $300,000. McCarter said volunteers to organize fundraising campaigns have dwindled as well.
She said the board did not take the decision lightly.
"There were a lot of tears shed in board meetings, a lot of sleepless nights," she said.
Everyone is hoping that a last minute effort from the community can keep them afloat.
"What does it say about our community that we can't support a United Way that supports these agencies out there doing the jobs that no one else wants to do?" Koester asked.
McCarter said they have enough funds to last through December. Whatever money they have leftover will go toward the 19 organizations for the following year.