Category: Giving Societies

YLS Members Volunteer at Webb Middle School Prom

On the eve before the last day of school, a group of dedicated UWATX Young Leaders Society members volunteered at Webb Middle School ‘prom,’ allowing teachers to take a small break from a very hectic week. The Webb prom is held to honor 8th grade students graduating from middle school. YLS members were excited to help celebrate the student’s hard work and academic achievements at this special event. Members helped set up red carpets, prepared tables and hung decorations from the walls of the gymnasium. Once the gym was prepped, YLS members stuck around and chaperoned the dance as the students danced the night away. YLS members had the opportunity to interact with Webb faculty and staff and some of the students they had volunteered with throughout the year. We asked two YLS members about their experiences volunteering at the Webb prom.   How long have you been involved with the Young Leaders Society? John Fahy: I have been involved with YLS for about three years now. I was one of the first community ambassadors for Kerbey Lane Cafe; Kerbey introduced me to YLS and gave me opportunities to pursue my passion for philanthropy. Ward Hoffman: I have been involved with YLS somewhere between two to three years. What was your favorite part of volunteering at the dance? John Fahy: My favorite part of volunteering at the dance was knowing how much we were helping the teachers and other staff members. It was the last week of school and they had so […]

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Recognizing Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy: 2015 Campaign Awards

At United Way for Greater Austin, we run more than 200 employee campaigns in nearly 700 locations in the Austin area. Employee campaigns provide an opportunity for businesses to empower employees to be philanthropists by donating a portion of each paycheck back to the community. Last night, we celebrated and recognized companies who excelled in building philanthropy in our community at our 2015 Employee Campaign Awards. Award winners: Best Practices: Superior Health and Texas Gas This award recognizes the company that implements UWATX’s best campaign practices, which include Senior Officer involvement, access to employees and use of UWATX campaign materials among several others. This year we had two winners for this award. Superior Health kept their campaign at one week to give a sense of urgency; they also planned a week of fun, educational experiences for their employees encouraging them to give. Texas Gas established multiple opportunities for UWATX staff to come and speak to their employees about our work, as well as ran a closed campaign where employee donations were matched 1:1 by their foundation. Community Investment Award: H-E-B The Community Investment Award represents a company or companies who exemplify what it really means to wrap arms around a community to make a significant impact. Anyone who shops at H-E-B realizes it’s not your normal grocery store. This year, H-E-B decided to increase corporate giving to match the generosity of their employees and UWATX experienced a 150% increase in corporate giving. They make philanthropy a part of their culture and host […]

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Dr. Leah Newkirk Meunier on “Leaning In”

We are pleased to feature our very own Leah Newkirk Meunier, Ph.D. in an upcoming Lean In Panel, a sold-out UWATX signature event sponsored by St. David’s HealthCare. The panel is based on the concepts laid out by Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, in her groundbreaking book, Lean In, which discusses how embracing a career and a healthy family life are applicable to both women and men. In the book, Sandberg argues that 21st Century challenges are going to be best tackled by people who can stay at the top of their games professionally while not sacrificing their ability to be great parents and spouses. This panel will offer valuable thoughts on how to “lean in”—thoughts that are important for people of all ages and at all stages of life. When asked about her take on Lean In, Leah offered insight about those who have inspired her to achieve great success in her personal and professional life. “When I think about the women who paved the way for me to achieve all that I have, my husband’s 95-year-old great aunt, Honey, comes to mind. She was leaning in before it even had a name. As a Chinese-American immigrant and a woman who was not permitted to attend college or learn to drive a car, she had very little opportunity presented to her, but singlehandedly ran not one, but two businesses!” Dr. Meunier is the head of our Women’s Leadership Council and director of the Early Childhood Business Alliance and […]

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YLS In 2014: Time For Reflection and Growth

2014 was a successful year for the Young Leaders Society (YLS), and we hope that it was rewarding for you both personally and professionally.  While reflecting on the success of this year, we also have the opportunity to look forward into 2015 and explore what’s in store for the YLS in the new year. As you’ve most likely heard, YLS has an ambitious goal of raising $180,000 this campaign year to fund full-time social workers on each of the three campuses where we work. This approach will allow us to serve even more students in a meaningful way and keep them on the path to graduation. We would love you to be a part of our fundraising campaign to make a difference in the lives of some of our neediest middle schoolers. You can do that by giving directly to United Way or through our YLS peer-to-peer fundraising taking place in February. Keep an eye out for more details on our big online give-a-thon coming in a few weeks. There are a couple of exciting things we have in store to help us get going on our $180K goal. The 2nd annual “State of the YLS” meeting is coming up on January 6 at Speakeasy. You’ll hear speakers from the YLS Committee and staff from the middle school campuses we support. You can expect to hear what we’re all about (“it’s for the kids!”) and how you can get involved in the coming months. This event is for both current members and those interested in […]

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WLC Spotlight: Co-Chairs Anu Reddy and Robyn Eckermann

UWATX is delighted to introduce our Women’s Leadership Council Co-Chairs, Anu Reddy and Robyn Eckermann. These ladies are excited to be part of one of the most powerful, female-driven philanthropic forces in Central Texas! Anu Reddy Anu Reddy grew up in India and moved to Austin twenty years ago. She is the dedicated mother of two boys and is a Regional Sales Specialist at VMWare. When asked how her membership with WLC has helped her advance her goals, Anu said, “I’ve always wanted to give more than just through a monthly paycheck contribution to a charity of choice. WLC gives me a chance to see the direct impact of my contribution. Professionally, I get to meet so many other amazing like-minded women from various backgrounds.” “I get to meet so many other amazing like-minded women from various backgrounds.” The WLC is committed to issues surrounding improving early childhood education and ensuring quality care for Austin’s youngest citizens. When choosing early education centers for her own children, Anu looked for facilities that had a reputation of excellence and that offered real-time footage so she could check on her children while at work. Anu is a self-proclaimed ‘foodie’ and enjoys trying new restaurants, playing tennis and reading. She is also a fan of Kendra Scott, a well-known female entrepreneur from Austin. Anu believes that generosity Makes Austin Greater. She is proud to be a part of the Greater Austin community, where people readily band together to help others. Robyn Eckermann  Robyn Eckermann, […]

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Recognizing the best in philanthropy: Employee Campaign Awards 2013

Thanks to almost 400 companies and their employees in the Austin community, UWATX’s vision for Austin is one step closer to becoming a reality.  Last night, we celebrated and recognized those companies who excelled in building philanthropy in our community. Overall awards Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy Awards Our Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy award is given to United Way for Greater Austin’s Top 3 campaigns, companies who make important investments with a commitment to making Austin Greater and where employees also give of their time, talent and treasure. Each of these companies implement United Way’s best practices, and do so in a way that represents “excellence” in all categories.  They represent the heart of philanthropy in Greater Austin and we are so honored to work with them everyday to lift up the working poor and ensure that every one of our community members has what they need to thrive. This year’s winners are H-E-B, 3M and Enterprise. Pictured, from left: Mark Hauerland and David Spencer, H-E-B, Russell Bridges, 3M, Eric Munoz and Nikki Mulvaney, Enterprise, and Bobby Jenkins, ABC Home & Commercial   Best Practices Award: Target The “Best Practices Award” recognizes the company that implements UWATX’s 3 Best Practices of engaging company leaders in Employee Campaign, providing opportunities for employees to learn about the impact of their gifts and experiencing community change through volunteer projects hosted by UWATX.  This year, our representatives were able to speak at every Target store and cover every employee shift to ensure that Target employees […]

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WLC rounds out another year of helping Austin children

The United Way Women’s Leadership Council just wrapped up another successful year – and the results speak for themselves: “Anytime a group of women leaders are focused on the social and economic challenges in Greater Austin; the focus brings results.” Kathleen Farlow, Managing Partner, Deloitte Austin The WLC is a powerful group of professional women who have a deep passion for helping Austin’s youngest and most vulnerable children. Through advocacy, volunteer efforts and donations, they make sure that Austin’s future is on the right track. This past year, the WLC members gave an astonishing $400K to support our most vulnerable community members. I have the privilege of supporting this inspiring group – but their own words speak to the value of this group much more powerfully that I could: A HUGE thank you to all of the dedicated women who have come together to support young children this year! Of course, the work is never done, so right now, the WLC is supporting the Steiner Serves effort that selected our Success By 6 (SB6) program as their May beneficiary and working on a book drive to help centers in our SB6 Center Project.  Learn more about the efforts of the WLC and the great women that lead this work.   Want to learn more? Tell us:  [pardot-form id=”6638″ title=”Email marketing – welcome series”]

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At 3M, WLC women are “true leaders”

Since 2003, the Women’s Leadership Council has worked to be “the most powerful female-driven philanthropic force in Central Texas” – and with more than 500 members investing in our community annually, it’s safe to say they’re delivering on that promise. At each of the 400+ companies that we work with locally, the WLC looks a bit different, adjusting to the culture and needs of that particular workplace.  Since it’s International Women’s Day, we wanted to find out what drives these incredibly giving women by talking to Judy Donigan, National Account Manager at 3M, about what’s working for them. The WLC group allows us to leverage the power of women and support efforts that are close to our heart.   – Michelle Diggs, 3M Marketing Manager & WLC Member JA Central Texas Board, Any Baby Can Advisory Board, Texas Civil Rights Division Commissioner What makes the WLC at 3M unique?  The WLC women at 3M are true leaders within our company.  They are successful in their different businesses and foster a sense of responsibility in giving back to our community.  Many of the women are board members of nonprofit organizations within the greater Austin area.  All of our members are committed to improving the lives of those with barriers to economic opportunity through our philanthropic efforts.    How many women are involved? Who has the WLC changed over time?  Twenty-four 3M women participate in activities with the Women’s Leadership Council. From my perspective, more 3M women are also taking additional leadership positions […]

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UWATX: What We Do

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPZTdJaMoiY[/youtube] United Way for Greater Austin has been in this community since 1924 – committed to making Austin greater by building philanthropy and running strategic programs. In the presentation above, Debbie Bresette, our president since 2009, breaks down how we do it: To build philanthropy, we run employee campaigns, giving everyone in our community who earns a paycheck the opportunity to give back. We also coordinate volunteer efforts because we believe giving your time is valuable as well, and we work  to inspire individual giving because we know we are all richer when we give back. Last year, we raised more than $16M for nonprofit organizations and coordinated nearly 100,000 hours of volunteering. Of that fundraising, donors entrusted $5.1M to our organization – and we put that giving to work for Greater Austin. In our strategic programs, se support young children through Success By 6, middle school students through Target Graduation and families through Financial Opportunity, and we provide an easy way to connect to services and resources through the Navigation Center. But we also know that it takes a village – for children to succeed, they need parent support, for families to thrive, they need quality education for their children. So our programs are structured to create wrap-around services. Our work is coordinated, knowing that supporting one student can be a key first step to improving the trajectory of a whole family. It’s also targeted in areas that have the highest needs, innovative (because we keep an eye on the landscape […]

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[VIDEO] Bobby Jenkins on the value of philanthropy

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h9bKDe5JJc[/youtube]   “Austin is on a trajectory to grow, and it’s up to all of us to decide how we’re going to manage that growth in a way that’s positive.” – Bobby Jenkins, President of ABC Home & Commercial Services Our mission at United Way for Greater Austin is to build philanthropy and to invest those gifts of time, dollars and talent to help our community thrive. We believe that when we give back, we are all made richer, and that everyone in our community who earns a paycheck should have the opportunity to give back. Since last year, Bobby Jenkins, President of ABC Home & Commercial Services, has served as our Employee Giving Campaign Co-Chair, spreading our shared message about the importance of philanthropy to companies and individuals throughout Greater Austin. For us, it’s been an inspiring journey to see his commitment to philanthropy. We hope his words will move you too.

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