Dear Friends of United Way,
Caring is a community tradition in Central Florida. We show that caring through our volunteerism and advocacy. As the 2012-13 Heart of Florida United Way Campaign Chair and as a broadcaster, I am often asked why I give to the United Way. Explaining the “Why” is easy for me. While United Way remains firmly committed to responding to residents’ immediate needs, we continue to focus on prevention by addressing the root causes of problems that affect people’s lives and our community.
Heart of United Way is making a measurable difference in the areas of Education (supporting students “Cradle to Career” in our community), Income (improving financial stability) and Health (developing healthy children and families). United Way donors, volunteers and corporate partners are achieving measurable results because we are creating collective impact through partnerships.
Last year, more than 20,000 students participated in United Way-supported programs, which are improving academic success and on-time graduation rates. Eighty-seven percent of students taking part in academic achievement programs showed improved reading, math and science skills. Ninety-two percent of students in targeted programs improved their school attendance and behavior.
I am proud to report that we have already surpassed the $16 million milestone with more than 90% of the workplace campaigns completed. We have experienced some amazing results in several of our campaigns.
Walt Disney World cast members make dreams come true every day and the magic they bring to the guest experience is also evident in their community work. We know that Publix is “not just a supermarket” and their associates continue to set new records in their giving and volunteerism. Florida Hospital has developed a three-year United Way strategic plan for its campaign. As a mission driven organization their employees have reached new goals in their support of Heart of Florida United Way.
All of these accomplishments and many more will be celebrated at the LIVE UNITED Campaign Celebration. The celebration will be held at the Orlando Science Center on Thursday, May 23 with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and an awards program beginning at 6:30 p.m. Stay tuned for more details soon on how to register for the event.
It is not too late to become part of the annual fundraising effort. You can still invest in your community by visiting www.hfuw.org and clicking on “GIVE.”
When kids succeed in school,
When families are strong and healthy,
And our most vulnerable residents have food and shelter,
WE ALL WIN!
Shawn Bartelt, 2012-2013 Campaign Chair
Vice President and General Manager
WFTV Channel 9 and WRDQ Central Florida’s Channel 27