United Way of Greenville County extends giving campaign

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The United Way of Greenville County has extended its 2016 community campaign, the organization announced last Thursday during an event to recognize donors.

The campaign, which began Sept. 6, has generated more than $16 million in donations.

“For the past several weeks, friends, neighbors and coworkers from across Greenville County have come together to support our community through this year’s United Way campaign,” said Jennifer Johnsen, campaign chair and shareholder at Gallivan, White & Boyd, in a news release. “The level of support from Greenville County’s corporate community, small businesses, public employees and nonprofit partners has once again been encouraging and outstanding.”

Many companies are still experiencing a steady stream of donor support.

“We didn’t want to have a chilling effect and stop momentum,” said Johnsen on the decision to continue the campaign. “Our goal is to raise as much money as possible for the community.”

There are some companies whose campaigns have just started, said Johnsen. For example, TD Bank, which is a national partner for United Way, just kicked off their campaign. Fluor’s giving campaign is also still ongoing.

“We’ve never had as many campaigns running after when we normally report [our total],” said Mike Posey, vice president of marketing and communications.

The United Way hopes the extension also gives people who do not have a connection to a company campaign the opportunity to contribute, especially because the campaign will be continuing on Giving Tuesday, the unofficial start to the holiday giving season. Giving Tuesday falls on Nov. 29 this year.

The fundraising total thus far is “astonishing,” says Kurt Rozelsky, campaign vice chair and attorney at Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, “but it pales in comparison to the need” in the community.

Funds generated from the campaign go toward the United Way of Greenville County’s Cycle of Success program. The four pillars of the program are Life Essentials, School Readiness, High School Graduation and Financial Stability. The philosophy behind the Cycle of Success is that if children are prepared to go to school and learn from early childhood, there will be a domino effect in which they will have academic success, graduate high school, find good jobs and create stable homes. Their children will then be afforded the same opportunities for a bright future beginning early in life. The Cycle of Success collaborates with private and public entities and encompasses more than 100 programs and initiatives within the United Way and its 69 partner agencies.

While the United Way continues to provide assistance in immediate crisis and emergency situations, they are also paying attention to fulfilling the foundational needs of the community, said Posey.

The organization is excited for what’s to come during the course of the rest of the campaign. “United Way of Greenville County raises more money than any other chapter in the state. It’s a great model for fundraising. It shows how generous our community is,” said Johnsen.

On January 26, 2017, the United Way will host its annual meeting and awards celebration for supporters at the TD Convention Center. The final campaign total will be announced at the event.

HOW TO GIVE

-Visit unitedwaysc.org.
-Text “uwgc” to 41444 to make a mobile gift.
-Call United Way at 864-467-3509 to inquire about workplace campaigns.

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