United Way begins 2011 campaign, launches Virtual Campaign video

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County has kicked off its annual giving campaign with a Virtual Kickoff, a fun, film noir-style video message titled “The Case of the Successful Campaign.”

The short video follows Detective Bill Dingblocks (“building blocks”) as he seeks out people who give, advocate and volunteer to make their community a better place in the areas of Education, Income and Health.

(United Way’s 2010 Virtual Campaign Kickoff can be found on youtube.)

This is the second year United Way used the Virtual Kickoff concept, moving away from a traditional event that drew a couple of hundred people each year in favor of a video that was seen by more than 1,000. The Virtual Kickoff video is being shared by e-mail, blogs and social media, and United Way staff and volunteers hope those who see it will share it with their friends.

In years past, campaign kickoff was a time to announce a fund raising goal for the organization, said Chris Young, 2011 campaign chair. In recent years, it has become a time to get the community engaged about supporting positive change in our community in the areas of Education, Income and Health, United Way’s three focus areas.

“We all have a stake in our neighbors’ success, and it’s critical for people to know they have more power than they think to positively impact our community,” said Young. “One way to do that is giving through United Way. Then pass it on and share United Way with their friends and families.

“We were listening when the community told us they wanted our focus to be on making sure every child succeeds academically, socially and emotionally, on people meeting their basic needs and becoming economically self-sufficient and on people being safe and having the knowledge and resources to be healthy,” said David Bailey, president and CEO of United Way. “Do we want to raise more dollars this year to meet those goals? Absolutely. And we’re going to go for it.”

Thanks to six companies that held their campaigns prior to kickoff, United Way is beginning its campaign with more than $600,000 already secured toward increasing the dollars available to fund work in Education, Income and Health.

These “trailblazing” companies had strong, early campaigns:

• Asheville Radio Group
• Clean Environments
• Irene Wortham Center
• Forest Commercial Bank
• RBC Bank
• United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County

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.

For more information, contact: David Bailey, President and CEO of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County – 255-0696

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About Margaret Williams
Managing Editor Margaret Williams has been at Xpress since 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987.

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