United Way employees spend a day of service out in the community
United Way’s annual day of service enjoyed a bit of whimsy today, thanks to IKEA. Since July 23 is also National Hot Dog Day, IKEA provided a hot dog lunch – plus hot dog and mustard mascots! – to spice up the volunteerism.
Click here to watch the Time Warner Cable News interview with IKEA spokesman Brian Gott.
Locally, United Way’s Volunteer Center organized 235 projects last year, involving 6,629 volunteers contributing more than 17,400 hours of service. United Way’s employees also volunteer year-round in a variety of ways, but today provided an opportunity to experience organization-wide service and team-building, just like the Volunteer Center leads for local companies all year long.
Today’s volunteerism involved three separate agencies and venues:
The largest gathering involved 50+ volunteers to support homeless children in A Child’s Place’s “My Place Summer Camp,” a six-week camp at Westerly Hills Elementary.
While some of the camp’s children are already being tutored or mentored through United Way’s Project 1,000 initiative, many others still need the support of a regular volunteer. So United Way conducted a full Project 1,000 training session – which trained both United Way employees and outside volunteers – and then the participants got to try being a “lunch buddy for a day” with a child in need.
IKEA’s involvement added an element of fun as well as lunch for the campers and volunteers. IKEA has been an ongoing partner in the Project 1,000 initiative, donating reading nooks to multiple United Way agencies and other venues.
More pictures from the event can be seen on United Way’s Facebook page.
Campaign coordinators tour United Way agencies
Employee campaign coordinators – your company peers who help organize the annual fundraising campaign for United Way – are often the “go to” experts when donors have questions. So on Tuesday, July 15, United Way took a busload of campaign coordinators on a half-day tour of United Way agencies.
The purpose of the tour was simple: to show where donations go, see what these donations achieve, and learn more about our community’s needs – all to get the coordinators up to speed ahead of this year’s campaign.
For efficiency, the tour was limited to four agencies, but between each stop, the coordinators were updated on big-picture details such as local United Way initiatives to raise graduation rates and reduce homelessness. The coordinators also got an advance screening of two new success story videos.
Most importantly, they got to see our partner agencies at work, hearing from staff members and those helped by United Way funding. Stops included:
• Charlotte Family Housing – At this agency that provides transitional housing for working families, executive director Stephen Smith talked about a mission of “not just getting families into housing, but preparing them, so they can stay housed.”
• Hope Haven – At an agency that specializes in the homeless who battle drug addictions, the coordinators toured the catering and laundry job-training programs, then heard from Mike, a former resident who’s now a Hope Haven employee celebrating 16 years clean. He concluded his heartfelt message with this note to United Way donors: “You have given me the opportunity to reach those who were unreachable. I’ve been able to love them unconditionally, and you gave me that. I can’t thank you enough.”
• Salvation Army – executive director Deronda Metz talked about her United Way funded Boys & Girls Clubs, who surprised the bus with a sidewalk full of grateful, sign-wielding youth; she also updated tour participants on the Center of Hope’s new 64-bed expansion, funded in part by United Way. She described the current philanthropic climate as “Charlotte’s most exciting time ever in solving homelessness.”
• Crisis Assistance Ministry – connecting dots back to the beginning of the tour, executive director Carol Hardison noted that Charlotte Family Housing was birthed at Crisis Assistance Ministry, as “a strategic effort to get people out of shelters faster.” She noted that there were 202 people lined up at her door when the ministry opened for the day, calling her agency “the final emergency room to help those about to lose their home.”
Between the tour stops, those on the bus heard about volunteering opportunities from Sarah Degnan of the United Way Volunteer Center. Getting the most from her captive audience, Sarah provided supplies for the tour participants to stuff pencil packs while the bus traveled – packs that were immediately given to the Salvation Army upon arrival.
United Way’s next agency tour is on August 14, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
United Way Boosts Agency Funding by Half a Million Dollars
Donor Generosity Enables United Way’s First Significant Funding Increase Since 2010, to $17 Million Across Five Counties
Thanks to generous donors, United Way’s annual funding for local agencies will increase by half a million dollars beginning July 1, to $17 million – United Way’s first increase in overall agency funding since 2010.
This funding is critical to our community’s goals of reducing homelessness, increasing the graduation rate, and helping our neighbors most in need. If you’re interested, please click here to read the details in today’s official news release. You can also see a PDF of the full board of directors presentation here.
Recently on WTVI, Julia Sain of Disability Rights & Resources and Christopher White of LIFESPAN discussed the challenge of living with a physical or mental disability in our community.
Their 30-minute conversation touched on the issues, the available resources, and how United Way agencies team up to help our neighbors overcome obstacles and successfully contribute to society. The show also included an agency spotlight on Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center.
Originally broadcast on Sunday, May 25, the show can now be viewed in its entirety here on our YouTube channel.
11 corporations recognized for innovative use of company assets, employee engagement and results in communities worldwide
Alexandria, VA (May 14, 2014) – Yesterday, United Way Worldwide recognized eleven companies as "Outstanding Strategic Partners," celebrating their long-term commitment, giving, volunteering, leadership and employee engagement which is making a lasting impact to improve lives and communities.
"United Way and communities around the world wouldn't be where we are today without the passion and partnership of these corporate leaders and their employees," said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO, United Way Worldwide. "They are helping us scale impact around the world and create opportunities for a brighter future and a better life for all people."
• 3M (NYSE: MMM) @3MNews – 3M & its employees encourage innovation through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), by volunteering and supporting students and schools. Globally, 3M supports United Way's early childhood education effort around the world including Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific.
• AT&T (NYSE: T) @ATT – AT&T is one of United Way's top national company campaigns year after year and also supports United Way through an AT&T online auction. AT&T also is leading the way with new technologies, including a mobile optimized web application for employees to pledge during the annual campaign using their mobile phones.
• Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) @BofA_Community -- Bank of America has been a longtime supporter of United Way and its affiliates for decades contributing more than $200 million and engaging employees annually through the company's United Way Campaign. In 2006, the bank helped launch United Way's life-changing financial stability work and has contributed $6.5 million towards volunteer income tax assistance and Earned Income Tax Credit education as well as holistic financial programs, which have helped millions of hardworking individuals and families nationwide.
• Deloitte LLP, @DeloitteUS -- Deloitte is a leader in its efforts to help address our nation's most pressing societal needs, notably through its more than 30-year commitment to United Way. With one of the nation's largest United Way employee giving campaigns – and alongside its award-winning pro bono program and community engagement initiatives – Deloitte supports its national focus on education and veterans issues through designated United Way collaborative funds.
• GE (NYSE: GE) @generalelectric -- GE's global vision for education, income and health includes a long-term commitment to and investment in United Way and communities from the company, foundation, employees and retirees. GE also donates 2% of all appliance purchases at the GE Outlet Store to help United Way advance the common good.
• P&G (NYSE: PG) @proctergamble -- P&G touches and improves the lives of millions of children around the world, and made it possible for the entire Latin America region to focus on improving early learning and helping kids get ready for success in school by expanding Born Learning with United Way.
• Publix Super Markets, @Publix – Publix has made a long-term commitment to kids and Born Learning, United Way's early childhood education engagement campaign, educating customers with helpful tips on school readiness through multiple channels – in-store experiences, newsletters, shopping bags and more.
• Target (NYSE: TGT) @Target -- Target's national education partnership with United Way is helping communities collaborate to improve kindergarten readiness and test scores, and long-term, ensure more young people graduate from high school and college.
• UPS (NYSE: UPS) @UPS -- UPS and its employees were the first company to raise $1 billion in contributions to United Way, with focused efforts on education and financial stability. UPS also holds an annual eBay auction, leveraging their sports and entertainment connections to raise funds for United Way. The company has also been an early champion for United Way's global expansion, ensuring more people and communities would be strengthened for generations to come.
• Walmart (NYSE: WMT) @WalmartGiving – The Walmart Foundation's national investment in MyFreeTaxes with United Way is increasing access to free tax preparation and filing services and building awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit. This critical work has helped millions of individuals and families save over $8 billion since 2009, building financially stronger futures and communities.
• Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) @WellsFargo -- Wells Fargo is working with United Way to create a new Financial Capability Network that will strengthen individuals, families and communities across the country. This work is helping people follow a budget and save for the future so they can buy a home, educate children, build a business and achieve their financial goals.
Winning companies also increased employee engagement through mobile, web, videos and social media and leveraged numerous company assets including product donations and skilled volunteering to create sustainable, positive changes in local communities worldwide in the areas of education, income and health.
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To read the Charlotte Business Journal's recognition of local award winners, as noted within an overall update on United Way of Central Carolinas, please click here.
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