We are completely humbled by the number of people who came out to support United Way and our community this year while we were serving as campaign co-chairs. Together, we raised $41 million that will be invested in building a community where people have homes, students graduate and families are financially stable.
$41 million. Wow. That means more dollars invested in helping people move off the streets through programs like Streets to Home, helping young kids be successful in kindergarten and helping families keep food on the table and move up and out of poverty. But it’s even beyond that big dollar amount where we draw our inspiration.
The enthusiasm people bring to shaping their community is contagious – we’re particularly excited about:
Young professionals. We spent quite a bit of time with the Emerging Leaders group – United Way’s more than 8,400 young professionals. Their energy is amazing and they’re completely committed to giving back. This group volunteers throughout the year, encouraging their peers to get involved and generally promoting the good work of United Way. We tried something new and hosted a fundraiser at Bramling Cross in Ballard. We were thrilled by the number of people who stepped up their giving to support helping people move off the street through the Streets to Home program.
Issue based conversations with Champion-level donors. Throughout the year, we hosted nearly a dozen intimate dinner parties. Guests took a deep dive into an issue with United Way experts to learn more about the problem – and the solutions. These were groups of people who often didn’t know each other and were talking about complex problems. Both the genuine interest in learning more and willingness to debate the issue were moving.
Night Out for Caring. This community-wide event was new this year and was such a great example of people coming together. With the Mariners, we hosted more than 1,000 people at Safeco Field to celebrate the good that they make happen all year-round. This year, we’re expecting even more people to come on out September 21 and are looking forward to doing our part to make it a fun party where people feel good about giving back. Free food, car-a-oke in Macklemore’s Cadillac, local celebrities – all while supporting low-income kids: what’s not to love?
Thank you for doing your part to make our community strong. While our formal role as campaign co-chairs is ending, we’re not going far. We will continue to support United Way and all the good work they do for years to come. We hope you’ll do the same.