Event marks kickoff of ‘Change Starts Here’ giving campaign
United Way of Buffalo & Erie County launched its 2022 giving campaign, “Change Starts Here,” with a press conference featuring United Way President and CEO Michael Weiner, Board Chair Rev. Rachelle Sat’chell Robinson, and this year’s campaign co-chairs: Ingram Micro Buffalo Campus Leader Jamie Ferullo and GEICO Regional Vice President Melinda Seibold.
They announced details about this year’s campaign, unveiled a giant thermometer on the organization’s Delaware Avenue lawn to track community giving, and presented nine winners with “Community Champions Awards” for their contributions to last year’s effort.
A press release stated, “Each of the honorees has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to mobilizing resources on behalf of United Way’s mission.”
This year’s recipients include:
√ M&T Bank and Wegmans, Million Dollar Campaigns
√ BPS 363 Lewis J. Bennett School of Innovative Technology, Eugene T. Reveille Cup
√ Williamsville School District, Suburban Schools Champion
√ United Steelworkers District 4 WNY Women of Steel Regional Council, Labor Champion
√ Delaware North, LEAD with Purpose Cup
√ Wegmans, Jacobs Cup
√ Dr. Thomasina Stenhouse and Nicholas Kaczmarek, 2021 Volunteers of the Year
More than 27,000 donors and over 500 workplaces supported the United Way annual campaign last year, which raised $10.2 million-plus. Those funds are already at work in the community, supporting not only United Way’s investments in nonprofit programs, but also the convening, solution building, and community engagement that make United Way an agent of community change.
"At United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, we are breaking a cycle of hardship that affects 40% of Erie County families,” said Michael Weiner, CEO of UWBEC. "There is no one solution to creating this kind of systemic change, but we know it starts with investing in health, education and financial stability at every stage of life. That’s what United Way does, and that is what donors are part of when they support the United Way campaign.”
Community members are encouraged to give to United Way through their workplace, at the checkout of participating grocers, and online at uwbec.org.
The press release added, “For over 105 years, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has fought to improve the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. By forging unlikely partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems, and mobilizing the best resources, we inspire individuals to join the fight against our community’s most daunting social crises. We believe that to live better, we must LIVE UNITED. Learn more at uwbec.org.”
United Way leadership, board members, advisory council members, funded agencies, corporate and community partners, and staff gather around 2022 campaign thermometer to celebrate kickoff of “Change Starts Here” campaign. (Image courtesy of United Way of Buffalo & Erie County)