"With only twenty-four of almost one hundred potential workplaces reporting back, we believe our total workplace campaign numbers will exceed our expectations," said Brenda Hewitt, President of United Way of Southeast Alaska, "That is particularly significant, because it shows the immense community support and how even 5 dollars a pay period makes a big difference in contributing to the health of our community."
Several workplaces have seen generous increases in their employee donations this year. For instance, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union saw a 30 precent increase in their employee donations, and Alaska Marine Lines/Lynden Transport employees in Southeast Alaska contributed over twice as much as they did in 2006.
Kathleen Gamble, Southeast Alaska Highway Coordinator for Lynden Transport and Alaska Marine Lines, heads up their internal campaign. Creatively, she took the opportunity to have a United Way staff member and partner agency representative make pancakes for employees as a way to raise awareness of the campaign. Kathleen attributes the increase in donations to the use of real maple syrup. "You know what they say, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar!" she said.
Individual and corporate gifts are continuing to be solicited and finalized. Although the official campaign dates were September 14th through Thanksgiving, campaign activities run through January, and most of the reporting is not finalized until March.
Working on an extended timeline has been an increasing trend for the past few years, as many workplaces and corporations are operating on a statewide or national basis. "The annual United Way campaign has many facets, which provides for the greatest flexibility for our partners and donors," comments Larry Harris, 2007 Campaign Chair, "In my personal experience through utilizing United Way as a year round tool to give back to my favorite cause or non-profit, I have the opportunity to give in the most efficient way possible."
Kristin Mahle, Campaign Director for United Way of Southeast Alaska, is still available to provide more information and workplace presentations to help organizations provide this unique tool for their employees. She can be contacted at 463-5530 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. United Way of Southeast Alaska is a volunteer-driven organization that creates lasting change by bringing people and resources together to address community-wide issues. For 28 years, UWSEAK has helped nurture children and youth, care for the elderly and people with disabilities, promote wellness and self-sufficiency, and meet the basic needs of people in crisis. UWSEAK is a member of the United Way of America system that includes nearly 1,400 community-based United Way organizations. Each is independent, separately incorporated, and governed by local volunteers.