Current campaign


 

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has concluded the 2018-2019 Campaign, and exceeded the campaign goal of $10,301,386. This is the 26th consecutive year that the goal has been met or exceeded. 

Campaign Chairs Linda Doggett and Robert Shearman made the announcement that local residents and companies contributed a record amount, $10,438,361 to the campaign which is a 4% increase. The theme of the 2018-2019 United Way Campaign was the “The Power of U!” “The generous people of Southwest Florida took “The POWER of U!” theme to their hearts and put the campaign over the top!” said Linda Doggett, Campaign Chair, Board Member, Lee County Clerk of Courts and Comptroller.

The announcement was made at the March 29th meeting of the United Way Board of Directors at United Way headquarters. Robert Shearman, Campaign Chair, Board Member, and attorney with Henderson Franklin Attorneys at Law said, “Not only did we top the goal, we exceeded it by over $100,000! That means more local people can be helped by our 96 United Way Partner Agencies. We live in an extraordinarily generous community, and to all of you who gave, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

“Making the goal means our agencies will receive their full share of funding for the coming year, including agencies and programs that are new to the network such as the Cape Coral Caring Center, Midwest Food Bank, Cancer Alliance, and Gulf Coast Humane Society,” said Linda Doggett. “Long standing United Way Partner’s like Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Children’s Advocacy Center, The Salvation Army, and Bonita Springs Assistance will be able to continue their vital programs because our United Way surpassed goal. Because of your generosity, 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 (VITA). You gave so others could have a better life,” she concluded.

Robert Shearman 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 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 7 years, and we are one of very few charities in the nation to receive a perfect overall score of 100%. Charity Navigator is one of the most utilized evaluators of charities used to guide intelligent giving.”

“Again, a very sincere thank you to all of the individuals, companies, communities, and partner agencies for your generous contributions. You proved again what an incredibly caring community this is,” Shearman concluded.

The top local contributing companies and the top communities are as follows:

Top United Way Contributors

One Million Dollar+ Circle of Excellence

Publix

Bonita Bay Community

Five Hundred Thousand+ Circle of Excellence

Bonita Bay Group

Islands of Sanibel & Captiva

Two Hundred Thousand+ Circle of Excellence

Pelican Landing

Chico’s FAS

FineMark National Bank & Trust

ENTERPRISE HOLDINGS

LCEC

One Hundred Thousand+ Circle of Excellence

Mediterra

Lee Health

Fiddlesticks

Grandezza

Lee County School District

Lee Board of County Commissioners

Shadow Wood

McGriff Insurance Services

Gulf Harbour

Shell Point

Break-Out Campaign Award

Alta Resources

Many United Way Partner Agencies were represented at the Goal Announcement, and executive directors of the agencies talked about how important United Way is to their success and ability to assist their clients.

Dotty St. Amand, Chief Executive Officer of Lighthouse of Southwest Florida said, “United Way funds are essential in assisting us to fulfill our mission of enabling people of all ages who are living with blindness or vision impairment to achieve independence. From babies to older adults, our programs positively impact the quality of their lives at each stage of life’s journey. We couldn’t make it happen without the generosity of United Way donors.”

Meg Geltner, Executive Director of Pace Center for Girls, said, “The appreciation that PACE Center for Girls has for the United Way’s support is wide-ranging. The United Way funds supports our PACE girls who are transitioning from the PACE school back into the Lee County School District. The funds pay for our master-degreed transition counselor who supports the students before, during, and after their transitions. The success of this system of care is measured by the number of PACE girls who are

graduating from high school. In 2019 eight of our girls will be graduating from high school. United Way ROCKS!”

Chris Hansen, CEO of Child Care of Southwest Florida (CCSWFL), a United Way Partner Agency, talked about how vital the United Way’s support is to the organization’s success as they work to enhance the lives of children and their families as an accredited, preferred Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) provider. “The daily support and collaboration from the United Way and other partner agencies allows CCSWFL to do its part to ensure children have an opportunity to experience quality early childhood education and nutritional support. The program does more than prepare students for Kindergarten; it gives them the foundation necessary to become lifelong learners and contribute to the success of our community.”

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, Harry Chapin Food Bank, 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 $177 million since it was established in 1957. For more information please call United Way at (239) 433-2000 or visit www.UnitedWayLee.org.