At its LIVE UNITED Celebration Friday morning, more than 225 people heard United Way 2011 Campaign Chair Chris Young announce that United Way is on track to raise $117,000 more than last year, reversing a three-year trend of declining fundraising campaigns for the organization.
“In 2007, United Way hit a high mark of raising $6 million,” Young said. “ Since that time, due to the economy, our campaign has been in decline. But our volunteers and staff decided as a group that this year they were going to stop that trend.”
The success is credited to numerous companies and individuals who went the extra mile for United Way this year, digging deep into their own pockets and telling their friends and co-workers about the important work United Way is undertaking in the areas of Education, Income and Health.
Seven companies ran “trailblazer” campaigns, committing to increasing their giving and holding their campaigns before the official start of the fall campaign season. Those companies—Asheville Radio Group, Clean Environments, Forest Commercial Bank, Irene Wortham Center, RBC Bank, Target Stores and United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County—raised $80,000, increasing their campaigns almost 30 percent.
Young said United Way volunteers and staff are also committed to raising an additional $91,000 this year to meet its 2011 goal of $5.4 million. Companies continue to hold rallies and volunteers continue to ask their friends and neighbors to be part of United Way’s work.
The dollars United Way raises through its Community Investment Fund support 2-1-1 of WNC, Hands On Asheville- Buncombe, United Way’s Middle School Success initiative and a competitive grant process in which nonprofits whose results best align with the changes United Way wants to see in Education, Income and Health receive funding.
For 2010-2011, United Way invested almost $2.5 million in community partners providing:
• high-quality early child care;
• mentors, tutors, conflict resolution, leadership and life skills training, homework assistance and after school support;
• basic needs assistance;
• vocational and literacy training;
• financial and housing counseling, money management services and tax preparation;
• violence and abuse prevention and recovery education, training, counseling and legal support;
• connection to medical providers, behavioral health/support services, and increasing access to affordable medications and much more.
As a result of this investment, United Way had expected to see 28,573 people successfully improve their conditions in Education, Income and Health. The return on that investment exceeded expectations—33,719 people are now on the path to graduating from high school, earning a living wage job, managing their finances and living in safe, affordable housing and living in a safe community with access to primary and behavioral healthcare.
Young people are encouraged to find out more about United Way’s work on its Web site - www.unitedwayabc.org - and consider making a gift this year. Donations can be made online, in the workplace campaign or in person at the United Way office at 50 South French Broad Ave.
“At United Way, our work continues. You know, underneath everything we are, underneath everything we do, we are all people. Connected. Interdependent. United. When we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all,” he said. “And that’s what’s so great about this work—we don’t just have to have a passive relationship with our gift to United Way—we have opportunities to be part of the change United Way is creating in the areas of Education, Income and Health.”
The following companies received awards at the 2011 LIVE UNITED Celebration:
* Largest Combined Employee/Corporate Donation- Mission Health System
* Spirit of the Mountains Award - Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP
* Spirit of the Mountains Award - Eaton Corporation - Heywood Road
* Above and Beyond Award - Meritor
* I’ll Do Anything for United Way Award - HomeTrust Bank * I’ll Do Anything for United Way Award - Sisters of Mercy
* I’ll Raise My Voice for United Way Award - Steering Committee for CarePartners
* I’ll Raise My Voice for United Way Award - Lloyd Freel with Mountain Housing Opportunities
* I’ll Get My Hands Dirty for United Way Award - Wilsonart
United Way mobilizes people into collective action through Giving, Advocating and Volunteering in the areas of Education, Income and Health. We believe these are the building blocks of a good life for everyone. That’s what it means to LIVE UNITED! By making results-based investments in our community, we support long-lasting, measurable change in people’s lives right here in Asheville and Buncombe County. You can be part of the change. Join the movement at www.unitedwayabc.org.
For more information, contact: David Bailey, president and CEO - 255-0696
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