The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 23, 2013

Workplace campaigns show businesses care about neighbors

United Way column

By Frank Wood
guest columnist

— Wow, what a night! The talk of the town over the weekend was all about the United Way’s Friday Night Dancing With The Stars. The six spirited couples vying for the Judge’s Choice Award treated the crowd at the jam-packed Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center to matchless professional dancing. Even some in attendance put on their dancing shoes after the performance to showcase their deftness on the floor.

Just as important as Dancing is the United Way’s Community Campaign in local workplaces, which is about bringing people together to tackle our community’s most difficult issues because no one person or organization can do it alone.

Whether you are a small business, a major corporation or even a nonprofit, you can join hundreds of local businesses and organizations that run workplace campaigns each year.

Participating in the United Way Community Campaign in your workplace gives employees the opportunity to learn about our community’s needs and give them a convenient opportunity to get involved.

We partner with a wide variety of businesses in many different industries and recognize individuals and organizations that run excellent campaigns during the year.

Every workplace campaign is different and can be shaped around your organization’s culture. Setting up and running a campaign is simple, and we can help you every step of the way.

We can help you set up your campaign so that employees can contribute through payroll deductions or other easy ways to make a contribution. Many companies double their impact by matching their employees’ giving dollar for dollar.

In a workplace campaign, hundreds of community-minded companies throughout southern West Virginia have granted the United Way access to their employees at their place of business for the purpose of coming in, telling our story and encouraging them to participate in this important and highly worthwhile fundraising campaign.

Participation in a workplace campaign is a great way for your company or organization to reaffirm its mission and values to our community and to bond and unify your employees in support of a common community cause, helping those right here in the communities where we all live, work and play.

We understand that when our communities succeed, so do we. That is why we value and support the United Way. We know that the money we contribute will have a maximum impact on some of the most critical needs facing our region.

Your partnership with United Way is a hallmark of community commitment, and it’s the only way our 34 local agencies can make a difference.

Therefore, we can’t stress enough the importance of these workplace contributions. And remember, 99 percent of all contributions stay in southern West Virginia.

Running a giving campaign is good for your company, good for your employees and good for our community.

In the coming weeks, Vice Chair Sherrie Hunter, Executive Director Margaret Ann O’Neal and I will be calling upon local businesses and organizations to tell the story, and encourage participation in our workplace campaign.

We are hopeful that if your business or organization doesn’t already participate, you will invite us to come spend time with you and your employees to make our $525,000 goal.

For more information concerning our workplace campaign, please contact our office at 304-253-2111.

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