United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee campaign reaches goal for 27th year in a row
The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has concluded the 2019-2020 campaign, and exceeded the campaign goal of $10,783,563. This is the 27th consecutive year that the goal has been met or exceeded.
Campaign Chair Roger Desjarlais made the announcement that local residents and companies contributed a record amount, $10,785,325 to the campaign which is a 3.3% increase. The theme of the 2019-2020 United Way Campaign was “One Way, United Way.”
The announcement was made at the June 12 annual meeting of the United Way Board of Directors at United Way headquarters. The meeting was a hybrid Zoom/In Person meeting in order to comply with CDC regulations. Desjarlais announced via Zoom that the goal was exceeded this year: “The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee met its fundraising goal of over $10.7 million in spite of an economy devastated by COVID-19. It is stunning and speaks volumes about the generosity of our community.”
Making the goal means United Way Partner agencies will receive their share of funding for the coming year. Long standing United Way Partners like Harry Chapin Food Bank, Community Cooperative, Abuse Counseling and Treatment and Children’s Advocacy Center will be able to continue their vital programs because of the support provided to United Way by the community in surpassing our goal. Because of the generosity of Southwest Florida, hungry families will receive food, veterans will find support through Mission United, abused children will find safety and shelter, older persons can find assistance to remain in their own homes, and thousands of lower income families can get their taxes done free through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.
Robert Shearman, newly appointed Board of Directors chairman, added, “All funds raised by our United Way stay here in our community, and our United Way keeps administrative and fundraising cost extremely low, investing over 92% of the money raised into local agencies and programs. Our United Way has been named a Four-Star Charity, the top rating on Charity Navigator for the past 9 years. Charity Navigator is one of the most utilized evaluators of charities used to guide intelligent giving.”
The top local contributing companies and the top communities are as follows:
Top United Way Contributors
$ 1 million+ Circle of Excellence: Publix and Bonita Bay Community
$500,000+ Circle of Excellence: Bonita Bay Group and Islands of Sanibel & Captiva
$200,000+ Circle of Excellence: Chico’s FAS, ENTERPRISE Rent-A-Car, FineMark National Bank & Trust, LCEC, Lee Health and Pelican Landing
$100,000+ Circle of Excellence: Fiddlesticks, Grandezza, Gulf Harbour, Lee Board of Count Commissioners, Lee County School District, McGriff Insurance Services, Mediterra, The Brooks and Zachry Group
All money raised in the United Way Campaign stays in the local community to help support the local human service network. United Way partner agencies and initiatives like Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, Child Care of Southwest Florida, The Salvation Army, Bonita Springs Assistance, Lighthouse of Southwest Florida, Mission United, and United Way 211 serve a diverse range of needs in our community such as nurturing children and youth, strengthening families, and meeting critical needs such as helping the elderly and disabled live independently, and empowering communities by bringing health and human services to neighborhoods.
In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in our community, the United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies and initiatives, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives.
The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has raised and distributed over $188 million since it was established in 1957. For more information please call United Way at (239) 433-2000 or visit www.UnitedWayLee.org.