Great things happen when we LIVE UNITED!


Bill KitsonAnother successful annual meeting! Every year in early March, we gather with 1,000 of our friends – donors, advocates and volunteers – as the official conclusion to United Way’s annual campaign. The theme this year was “What happens when we LIVE UNITED?”

From the start, this year’s campaign was particularly exciting. You may recall, back in August, we broke tradition; the 2014-2015 campaign kicked off, for the first time in 100 years, without naming a public monetary goal and in a new venue. It was the season’s first pursuit to LIVE UNITED as we deployed 300 volunteers to serve breakfast to 8,500 students in 17 Cleveland schools. WOW!

Annual Meeting 2015At last week’s annual meeting, accompanied by a light show and “Cleveland Rocks” as the soundtrack, we announced our community raised $41.1 million to advance education, income and health. This year’s campaign had many reasons to celebrate. For starters,

  • 1,387 organizations contributed to this year’s campaign
  • 70,644 individuals donated to United Way through their workplace
  • And nearly 70 percent of donations were made online

But as you know, United Way is about more than fundraising; we are a community convener. And United Way 2-1-1 is at the core of this work – connecting people to social, health and government resources 24 hours per day, seven days per week. In 2014, the information and referral specialists in 2-1-1 answered more than 264,000 calls. The top request continues to be for food assistance followed by housing and shelter. It’s yet another way we LIVE UNITED – ensuring our neighbors have access to the resources they need most.

Take a moment and check out our annual report for more examples of how we LIVE UNITED.

As the 2014-2015 campaign commences, I can’t help but look forward to what’s to come as we continue our work to create a healthy community where all kids graduate from high school and families and individuals are financially stable.

Stay tuned! This year, we’ll start celebrating short-term wins as we provide quarterly reports on our priorities in education,
income and health.

And this summer, with the help of partners throughout the community, we are launching a summer learning initiative. During the summer months, we want our children to stay on top of the knowledge they worked hard to gain during the school year.

The impact we’re creating in Greater Cleveland truly takes all of us. A big thanks to each donor, advocate and volunteer for contributing your time, talent and treasure to our 2014-2015 annual campaign. I invite you to continue your support. Great things happen when we LIVE UNITED.

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