Microsoft and United Way Collab for Happy Hour & Hellos

By United Way of King County, on October 24, 2023 | In Change Makers, Emerging Leaders 365, Events, News

This blog post was written by Kayla Dunn and Brandi Williams, United Way of King County engagement coordinators.

About 60Microsoft employees gathered last Thursday to sip ciders, win auction items, and become United Way of King County’s newest Emerging Leaders 365 and Change Makers.

Each year, United Way partners with Microsoft during their GIVE Month, which encourages employees to donate and volunteer to nonprofit organizations in their area. Tucked in a wooded corner of the company’s 502-acre campus, attendees bought raffle tickets to try their luck at wine-bottle ring toss, mega-Jenga, and spin the wheel.

Microsoft employee Betty was the first to arrive. Her friends attended a previous United Way event and had committed to donating regularly, she explained. After learning about the needs United Way meets in King County, they became Emerging Leaders 365, giving $30 monthly. Since then, they have leveled up to Change Maker status, committing to give $100 monthly. 

Voices hummed and periodic hollers rang out as people mingled, toppled Jenga, and grazed the buffet from That Brown Girl Cooks, and circled the open bar.

About an hour into the event, Chris Capossela, Microsoft CMO, took the mic.

“It’s good to give, but as people who have benefitted from the big tech boom, I would argue it’s our responsibility to give,” Capossela said.

Capossela spoke about how United Way works to ensure people have enough to eat, a safe place to call home, and access to education. These three basic pillars, he argued, are vital.

Betty approached the raffle table in the back.

She decided to become a Change Maker, committing to giving $1,200 annually.

“Donate to the ballet company or whatever organization you’re personally passionate about, but do that in addition to supporting United Way,” Capossela said. “They’re meeting the most fundamental needs of our community.”

A rock-paper-scissors tournament materialized where he’d just stood. Names of raffle winners were called to pick up their tote bags and beanies. Including Microsoft’s match, over $14,000 was raised.

To learn more about United Way’s Emerging Leaders 365, click here. To learn more about United Way’s Change Makers, click here.


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