Greater Ottawa County United Way announced today that it has reached the 60% mark of its $2.5 million goal for the 2017-2018 annual community campaign. Funds raised during the campaign are invested back into the local communities United Way serves. Currently, 55 programs run by 41 nonprofit organizations in Ottawa County receive funding, as well as several initiatives and collaboratives. These programs improve the education, financial stability, health and basic needs of Ottawa County residents. The community campaign wraps up on March 20 at the annual Celebration event.
Campaign Co-Chairs Mark and Lori Wilson said that United Way staff and campaign volunteers are aiming to raise at least 8 percent more than was raised last year. “That will get us to our goal of $2.5 million,” said Mark Wilson, Lakeshore Community President of Huntington Bank. They are “leaving no stone unturned” as they strive to meet increasing needs among the community partner programs, initiatives and collaboratives supported by the campaign.
Lori said, “Ottawa County has proven itself to be a generous community that cares deeply about those in need. We are thankful for the donors, volunteers and businesses who invest their time, talent and treasure.” Mark added, “I am so encouraged by the progress we’ve made toward the campaign goal. I’m especially encouraged by the nearly 200 local businesses who give, advocate, and volunteer all year long to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to reach their full potential. They are creating lasting change throughout the county and beyond.”
Businesses showing an increase in their United Way workplace campaign are: Great Lakes Castings LLC, Manpower, Good Samaritan Ministries, Zeeland Architectural Components, Legal Aid of Western Michigan, Woodward, Inc., Tri-Cities Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Ottawa County United Way, North Ottawa Community Health System, Shape Corporation, Trans-Matic Manufacturing Co. and Haworth.
United Way President Patrick Moran said, “Local businesses and their employees make up a huge part of our giving base. Without them, our community would not be what it is today. We would like to recognize two corporations that have, together, given more than a half million dollars toward this year’s campaign: Shape Corporation and Haworth. They lead the way, and set an example of how companies can make a powerful impact in their communities.”
Ottawa County residents who are not part of a workplace campaign can donate to United Way and search for volunteer opportunities online at www.ottawaunitedway.org, text OTTAWA to 91999 or mail a donation to Greater Ottawa County United Way, PO Box 1349, Holland, MI 49422.
As an incentive, first-time donors who pledge or donate $1 per week ($52) to the 2017-18 community campaign, or any previous giver who donates or pledges $52 more than he/she pledged in last year’s campaign, will be entered into a drawing to win an all-inclusive, 4-night stay plus airfare for two to the Hyatt Ziva Cancun. More information is available at www.ottawaunitedway.org/prize-drawing. No campaign dollars are used to purchase this incentive. This trip is provided by United Way’s generous campaign sponsors.
Continuing a 14-year tradition of matching gifts, anonymous donors have committed $80,000 in matching dollars for new and increased leadership gifts of $500 and above from residents of Ottawa County and anyone who donates through an Ottawa County workplace campaign. So far, 289 leadership gifts worth $453,522 have been received, with $67,431 in new or increased gifts that are eligible for the $80,000 match. “This means that just $12,569 more in new and increased LLC gifts are needed to make our $80,000 challenge match,” said Louann Werksma, United Way’s Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving. To learn more about leadership giving, visit: www.ottawaunitedway.org/lighthouse-leadership-circle or contact Louann at (616) 610-1338.