United Way Celebrates Community Partners Driving Impact for Lincoln and Lancaster County
Nearly 300 community leaders, volunteers and donors gathered at United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County’s Annual Meeting on Thursday to celebrate the United Way/CHAD (Combined Health Agencies Drive) Campaign raising over $6.5 million.
Nearly 300 community leaders, volunteers and donors gathered at United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County’s Annual Meeting on Thursday to celebrate the United Way/CHAD (Combined Health Agencies Drive) Campaign raising over $6.5 million. The money raised in the 2021 campaign will improve lives in Lincoln and Lancaster County in the 2022-2023 fiscal year by sustaining 64 local health and human services agencies in their work to serve as a safety net for community members in need.
“This community should be very proud,” said Phil Morgan, an Executive Director at Nelnet and Co-Chair for the 2021 Campaign. “It is because of the support of so many organizations and individuals that we are standing here today celebrating.”
The jointly run campaign supports nearly 150 programs at 64 local partner agencies that focus on Health, Education and Financial Stability. These interconnected areas have been identified as the building blocks of a quality life. The goal of these programs is to provide a good education, meaningful careers, safety and security, and tools to raise healthy families.
“We often look at statistics to see the need in our community,” said Tim Sabo, Chief Audit Executive at Nelnet and Co-Chair for the 2021 Campaign. “But the truth is that these are real people being impacted by the programs your donations fund – your child, your friend, your neighbor.”
The celebration included recognizing individuals and organizations that champion the work being done in the community for those in need.
The 2021 Spirit of United Way award was presented to Russ Uhing, Director of Student Services at Lincoln Public Schools for his demonstration of strong community involvement and outstanding commitment to the mission of United Way. Over the years, Russ has strengthened the support system for students by building a bridge of support between schools and United Way partner agencies to create a holistic approach for students.
Honored for outstanding dedication to the mission of United Way through its leadership commitment, resources and time spent to solve community issues, Nelnet was the recipient of the 2021 United Way President’s award.
Among the handful of local companies who ran their first giving campaign this year, Baxter Auto Group and Hudl stood out for their outstanding efforts and were each awarded a New Partner Award. Baxter Auto rallied employees at its three Lincoln locations with a corporate matching gift, raising over $48,000 to meet the need in Lincoln and Lancaster County during their first giving campaign. Similarly, Hudl offered a $35,000 match and identified network champions who could answer questions about the giving campaign. Additionally, as a global company based in Lincoln, Hudl rallied not just local employees who gave to Lincoln and Lancaster County, but U.S. and internationally based Hudlies who helped advance the common good in communities across the globe.
“It’s important that we provide opportunities for employees to give back in ways that are meaningful to them,” said David Graff, Hudl CEO. “Partnering with United Way allowed us to do that across all communities our teams call home. Because they operate globally, and partner with local organizations, our employees can trust their pledge will impact their own communities in areas needed the most. United Way is a trusted organization with the experience to make sure any charitable donations are used in the most impactful way.”
Helping hand out awards was Kevin Wailes, Chief Executive Officer of Lincoln Electric System and 2021 United Way Board President. “A cornerstone of United Way’s mission is that anyone has the ability to support lasting changes to improve our community.. Members of the Lincoln and Lancaster County community have consistently demonstrated their passion for helping their neighbors, coworkers, family and friends in need of a helping hand during tough times.”