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The American Family Insurance claims office in Brookfield has contributed almost $12,000 to United Way of Greater Milwaukee’s campaign of 2004. That amount includes our company’s $3,900 corporate contribution, along with the contributions of our individual employees and money raised at a series of special employee fund-raising events created for the campaign.
Our corporate culture has long stressed helping others and giving something back to the communities and neighborhoods where we do business – and the United Way is our charity of choice. Last year, employee and corporate contributions to United Way campaigns throughout those 17 states totaled more than $1 million.
We are strong believers in United Way because it’s a great way to invest in our communities and help people who are struggling with a variety of problems and needs. We want to give something back to the communities where we do business, and United Way provides us with a significant way to do this.
This well-respected and long-established charitable organization has a proven track record of operating efficiently and carefully targeting dollars to those agencies that provide critical services to so many in need.
In addition, we believe partnering with United Way is good for our business because getting our employees involved in the campaign builds morale, teamwork and common commitment.
In our Brookfield offices, claim support services manager Maxine Hubbard and receptionist/switchboard operator Karen Bell were named co-chairwomen of our Milwaukee area campaign. Charged with the responsibility of raising funds for this worthwhile cause, they explored ideas on how to generate information and enthusiasm about United Way giving that would raise additional funds for the United Way campaign. Consulting with Kelly Quinney, United Way’s campaign coordinator, they came up with a number of events that ultimately generated about $1,300, an amount that almost tripled the special event funds raised the previous year.
During the month of September, Hubbard and Bell arranged to have a large bin placed at the switchboard for employees to drop off school supplies, coats, mittens and scarves to be given to needy clients of United Way agencies.
These two enthusiastic women designated Sept. 13 as "Packers Day" and asked each employee to wear Green Bay Packer sweatshirts and encouraged each to contribute $2 to the United Way.
One week later, they set up a United Way CafZ where they sold bagels, which were donated by the local Einstein’s Bagel shop. They also sold cream cheese, bakery items and flavored coffee to their employees.
The month of September ended with a successful bake sale in the company cafeteria that Hubbard and Bell organized.
Moving into the month of October, the fundraising effort was highlighted by an ice cream social that also generated money for the campaign.
The campaign culminated Oct. 13 with a grand finale luncheon, featuring a musical performance by students from the Holy Redeemer Christian Academy. Thanks to Karen Bell’s efforts, Burger King donated 300 hamburger and buns, and a number of our employees baked brownies and such. Of course, the $4 per plate charge was part of the grand total of money raised for United Way.
American Family Insurance and United Way share a mutual philosophy. They know what matters to the people in each community, and we value the people in our communities. What matters to us is what matters to United Way.
Dave Anderson is the president and chief operating officer for American Family Insurance.
Manpower matching donations from small- and medium-sized businesses
The United Way of Greater Milwaukee, in partnership with the Manpower Corp., is providing small- and medium-sized companies an opportunity to double their impact in solving significant community problems.
Manpower, the Glendale-based multinational staffing company, has agreed to donate up to $25,000 to match any new or increased corporate donations to the United Way’s 2004 campaign, said Bill Kitson, United Way’s campaign vice president.
"It’s called the Manpower Business Challenge, and it offers an important incentive to local companies to get involved in the United Way campaign and invest in what most improves lives here," he said. "We encourage companies to get more involved in this community effort, if they haven’t already done so. The cause is great."
The 2004 United Way campaign wraps up on December 6.
More information about the Manpower Business Challenge can be obtained by contacting Joshua Gentine of United Way at 263-8122 or going to their website:
Thank you United Way volunteers
By Jeff Joerres, Dennis Kuester and Gail Lione, for SBT
United Way’s "Week of Caring" began on Sept. 13. It is a community-wide event that brings together hundreds of volunteers and program delivery partners in a mass demonstration of caring and commitment to building a better community.
Surprisingly, the demand for volunteer opportunities was far greater than a single week could accommodate. Week of Caring finally ended mid-October, as employees from the Kohl’s corporate offices completed projects at Lutheran Social Services and the Schroeder YMCA.
The signature United Way event, facilitated by the Volunteer Center continues to evolve in response to volunteer evaluation and needs. Volunteers in 2003 noted that the most rewarding experiences involved interaction with the people that need help, or participating in projects directly related to an organization’s mission.
Everyone’s time is valuable, and when they volunteer, they want to make a real difference. United Way and the Volunteer Center worked closely with health and human services organizations to design opportunities that met the volunteer’s need to see how their contribution of time makes a difference.
By expanding projects beyond a single day or week, we were able to add more meaningful activities that allow volunteers to truly impact people’s lives and help people expand their own opportunities. These projects are very rewarding and fulfilling.
We offer mentoring opportunities that promote literacy, story-telling opportunities with disadvantaged children that bring excitement to learning; and even one-on-one coaching of the disabled.
Week of Caring was an opportunity for more than 1,400 people to further examine what matters most to them.
On behalf of United Way of Greater Milwaukee, we’d like to thank those volunteers, representing more than 68 companies, for lending a helping hand to complete more than 160 projects at 78 nonprofit health and human service agencies in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha and Washington counties.
We’d also like to thank the Volunteers Centers of Greater Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties for helping to coordinate Week of Caring, along with our community partner Aurora Health Care.
Each one of us can make an impact on the community by investing in what matters most … improving lives by participating in the 2004 Community Campaign.
Jeff Joerres, Dennis Kuester and Gail Lione are 2004 United Way Community Campaign chairs.
November 12, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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