The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 30, 2013

Stars shine on dance floor, in workplace campaigns

United Way column

By Frank Wood
guest columnist

— Stars shine for the United Way of Southern West Virginia … to the tune of more than $80,000.

A shout of bravo is warranted for all the “stars” who were brave enough to step onto the dance floor Sept. 20 to help raise money to support our 34 local agencies in Raleigh, Fayette, Summers, Wyoming and Nicholas counties. All of the dancers, in addition to being good community servants, were winners that night.

Congratulations go out to the first place Judge’s Choice winners Melanie McGraw and Eric Thomas; second place Judge’s Choice and first place People’s Choice dancers Lori Tabit and Dr. Brett Eckley, and second place People’s Choice award team Donna Williams and David Chinn. Libby Kelly, Elmer Coppoolse, Chaz Turner, Merrily McAuliffe, Sherrie Hunter and Dr. Bill O’Brien were astonishing as well. The choreographers for each team did an excellent job of preparing perfect dance routines for the local superstars.

With the big dance now behind us, the campaign is in full swing. This is no time, however, to rest on our laurels. It is the perfect stage on which to run a workplace campaign with the United Way.

Giving at the workplace brings us together, and makes us feel good about ourselves and the companies we work for.

The United Way’s annual workplace giving campaign creates that good feeling of knowing that you have done the right thing and made someone else’s life better.

United Way workplace campaigns also bring much-needed funds to our region. Our work focuses on the areas of greatest need: health, financial stability and education.

Furthermore, a healthy community attracts new businesses, leads to a stronger labor pool and improves the quality of life for everyone. Joining together through United Way can build trust and increase goodwill among customers and employees by giving back to the community.

Running a Giving Campaign is good for your company, good for your employees and good for our region:

- Consumers will tell you that they have a more positive image of a company when it supports a cause they care about.

- The United Way can help you meet your corporate philanthropy goals and the interests of your employees, while also making your giving dollars go farther.

- Employees say it is important that the company they work for helps the community. And many think it is important for a company to offer employees the option to give to charity through payroll deduction.

- It is a smart investment. The United Way of Southern West Virginia provides the most efficient and effective way to make a difference in our community so you and your employees can give with confidence.

- When your employees donate to the United Way, their gift is invested to help those in need in southern West Virginia.

- By helping low-income kids and families, we make our whole community stronger and more prosperous.

If you would like to introduce a workplace campaign to your company, or need assistance with your campaign, please contact us at 304-253-2111.

— United Way of Southern West Virginia 2013-2014 Campaign Chair Frank Wood is publisher of Beckley Newspapers.