United volunteers made it a banner year

Posted: Friday, March 09, 2001

Results of the United Way of Southeast Alaska campaign 2000 prove that the selfless spirit of the heart is alive and well in Southeast.

The annual campaign focuses on payroll deductions and is structured into three areas; the state employees SHARE campaign, the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) for U.S. government employees and private sector workplace giving. The final campaign totals $472,380 with $140,414 coming from the SHARE campaign, $173,927 from the CFC, and private sector adding $158,039.

It's a good time to celebrate the victory and to thank those who helped achieve this success - though in this space it would be impractical to try and list individual names and businesses. (Please watch for our Thank You ad to appear soon.)

However, we would be remiss in not noting certain things. The Combined Federal Campaign increased an astounding 17.5 percent over the previous year. That happened because a core group of dedicated and committed volunteers wanted to make a difference.

We talked locally with groups who perhaps hadn't been approached before and who said they'd like to help. At volunteer training sessions we talked about the history of United Way, broke down the average gift, the number of people who gave, and it became obvious that there was a potential for growth.

Part of this year's effort was educational, letting people know what it is that United Way does.

This year's state SHARE campaign went high tech. Online pledge forms, periodic updates and the final results were all available with the click of a mouse. Heartfelt thanks to all who planned and participated.

Retail businesses provided the treats and rotated employee groups through what I would call 'the model workplace campaign.' It wasn't pressure or coercion that sometimes doubled giving - it was honest employee discussions about how individuals or people they knew had been helped by United Way member agencies. Thank you to all who have shared their stories. You are a direct link to the campaign success.

Many companies offered matching dollars to employee gifts, increasing the giving level. Strong leadership builds employee morale and benefits our community in any number of ways.

It should not be overlooked that most of the gifts in this campaign come from those who do not have great wealth - far from it. Gifts come because people in Juneau and Southeast live the Golden Rule.

Although coincidental, it seems fitting that we end this campaign as we began: Royal Caribbean generously donated a $10,000 corporate contribution and ACS closed it in the same manner, with a generous $10,000 corporate contribution.

To the many corporations, small businesses and individuals who have unselfishly provided time, money, and efforts in this campaign, we - the United Way board, staff, member agencies, and those receiving direct services - extend our deep and sincere appreciation.

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