United Way campaign reaches 40% of $2.5 million goal

Greater Ottawa County United Way staff and campaign volunteers are proud to announce that the United Way annual community campaign has reached 40% of its $2.5 million goal. Completed workplace campaigns and individual donations received so far are closing in on $1 million. United Way is thankful for the continued support from our generous community.


All dollars donated in (or designated to) Ottawa County stay in Ottawa County. United Way improves lives in part through a rigorous community investment process that invests the community’s generosity in more than 55 effective programs run by local nonprofit agencies that are making a difference in HEALTH, EDUCATION, FINANCIAL STABILITY, and BASIC NEEDS. To view the programs funded by United Way, go to: www.ottawaunitedway.org/community-partners. In addition to funding programs, United Way supports, develops and implements a range of impact solutions (in data-driven issue areas) that improve lives and create stronger local communities.


United Way leverages every dollar donated through matching grants and volunteerism, United Way President Patrick Moran explained. “For every dollar we raise in campaign, the community receives $3.25 in community benefit. That’s a great return on investment.”


Campaign Chairs John and Martha Gork said they are pleased with the campaign’s momentum this year. Martha said, “Nearly 200 companies and organizations in Ottawa County are running United Way campaigns. We are proud of the number of organizations that support United Way, knowing that their support creates a better place to live, work and play for their employees and their families, as well as the whole community.” John said, “When an organization partners with United Way, it receives benefits from that partnership, such as: leadership development and customized volunteer opportunities for employees, enhanced company image, workforce stability and the ability to connect employees to services that can help in times of need. If your company does not currently run a United Way campaign, I would encourage you to join the movement and LIVE UNITED.” To learn more about how a United Way campaign can benefit your organization and the community, contact Tracy Plummer at tplummer@ottawaunitedway.org or (616) 396-7811 x202.


Local campaigns who have increased giving over last year’s numbers include: Dr. Pepper Snapple, West Michigan Fleet Parts, Herrick District Library, Semco, Purple Cow Creamery and Holland Charter Township. Grand Haven Area Public Schools is up 27% and has raised more than ever before and West Michigan Molding is up 22%. In addition to running a campaign, GHSP collected 722 winter coats, scarves, hats and gloves and 4,600 food items to be donated to the Holland and Muskegon Rescue Missions.


You don’t have to work where there is a workplace campaign to give to Greater Ottawa County United Way. Residents who are not able to participate in the campaign through their employer may give online at www.ottawaunitedway.org, or mail a donation to Greater Ottawa County United Way, PO Box 1349, Holland, MI  49422.


As an added incentive, for the third year, any first-time giver who pledges or donates $1 per week ($52) to the 2015-16 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, 5-night stay plus airfare for two at Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta Resort. More information is available at http://www.ottawaunitedway.org/prize-drawing. “No campaign dollars were used to offer this incentive,” Moran noted.  “It was provided by our generous sponsors who want to see the campaign grow.”


For the thirteenth year, new and increased leadership level gifts ($500 or more from one household) from Tri-Cities residents will be matched by an anonymous local donor up to a total of $30,000. For the second year, anonymous donors have committed $30,000 in matching dollars for new and increased leadership gifts from residents of Holland, Zeeland, West Olive, Jenison and Hudsonville. To learn more about leadership giving, visit: www.ottawaunitedway.org/lighthouse-leadership-circle or call Director of Major Gifts Louann Werksma at (616) 610-1338.