Each year, United Way Capital Area (UWCA), raises money to address the root causes of poverty in Central Texas. This year, UWCA has set an ambitious annual campaign goal of $16.5 million.
Recognizing their campaign goals this year, and every year in the past, can only be met through the support of the many businesses that participate in the Workplace Giving Campaign, UWCA kicked off its season by thanking the employees of more than 300 Austin area companies for their loyal and continued support of the community.
“We are so grateful for all of our community support and want to celebrate the successes of our donors and volunteers,” said UWCA President Debbie Bresette. “The companies that participate in our campaign are the ones who raise the money needed to fund the programs that have had a profound impact on the lives of people in our community.”
UWCA hosted the kickoff event in the parking lots of five Central Austin H-E-B stores, whose own workplace campaign exceeded $1 million last year. The employees who stopped by one of the five locations, all near companies that participate in the Workplace Giving Campaign, were provided with breakfast items and beverages on their way to work as a token of gratitude.
“It’s important that as a company we contribute to our community, but it’s also important to the people who work at Texas Gas Service that they are able to be actively engaged in affecting change in the communities that they live and work in, it’s a powerful thing to give back,” said Paul Wilson, Regional Vice President for Texas Gas Service, one company participating in the Workplace Giving Campaign.
In addition, companies across Central Texas participating in UWCA workplace giving campaigns, include Samsung, Wells Fargo, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Austin American-Statesman and Flextronics.
The $16.5 million raised this year would fund UWCA programs, services and grants made to 49 local partner agencies with programs in the areas of education, income and health, including:
· Success By 6 program services including Born Learning, early literacy programs and early childhood education training for parents and teachers.
· The 1 Hour for Kids mentoring program, improving out-of-school time programs and increasing awareness of opportunities for higher education are all part of the Middle School Matters initiative.
· Bank on Central Texas, a program that connects people to low and no-cost financial products; job training and financial education programs are just some of the Income focus area initiatives.
· Health focus area services include helping low-income seniors live independently, improving access to health and dental care and health education programs and providing mental health services to children and youth.
The co-chairs of this year’s Workplace Giving Campaign are Ben Bentzin, a UT lecturer at the McCombs School and former Dell executive and efjf Thomas, Senior Vice President and General Manager, H-E-B Central Texas Region.