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United Way campaign reaches 75%

• Jan 31, 2017 at 4:00 PM

The Greater Ottawa County United Way has reached the 75 percent mark of the $2.5 million goal for its 2016-17 community campaign.

Funds raised during the campaign are invested in 57 programs run by 43 nonprofits in Ottawa County. United Way also develops partnerships between existing agencies; launches new initiatives to address unmet needs; and collaborates with agencies, organizations, business leaders and community stakeholders to identify and address ways to help all people in the county to reach their full potential.

The campaign wraps up March 23 at the agency’s annual Celebration event.

Campaign chairpersons P.J. and Kristen Thompson say they are encouraged by the generosity of the community so far during this year’s campaign.

“We are thankful for the generous support of United Way in Ottawa County,” Kristen Thompson said. “United Way touches the lives of one in four people in our community, creating widespread and positive change in the lives of people all around us, including our families, friends and neighbors. We encourage those we meet along the campaign trail to give, advocate or volunteer to start making a difference today.”

P.J. Thompson added: “We ask everyone we engage with during the campaign to join us in giving at a level that works for them. Even a gift of $1 per week can change lives and give people hope for a better future. And, if you’re able to give a new or increased leadership gift of $500 or more, your gift will be doubled due to a generous leadership match grant offered by some of our top donors.”

To donate or volunteer, visit www.ottawaunitedway.org.

United Way President Patrick Moran said he is proud of the strong support United Way receives from the local businesses.

“Our business partnerships are key to our ability to invest in Ottawa County,” he said. “With the support of our local business community, we continue to make a powerful impact in the areas of education, financial stability, health and basic needs. We are able to produce $3.70 in community benefit for every dollar donated, and businesses see that as a great return on investment.

“We are currently launching a ‘$100 x 100’ small-business challenge to engage even more businesses in our community,” Moran continued. “If 100 small businesses donate $100 each, we can invest an additional $10,000 in Ottawa County this year.”

To learn more about the small business challenge, visit www.OttawaUnitedWay.org/100x100.

Businesses showing an increase in their United Way workplace campaign so far are Macatawa Bank, Sekisui, Trans Matic, Falcon Corp., West Michigan Molding, Stanco Metal Products, Great Lakes Castings, Elzinga & Volkers, Automatic Spring Products and Bekins.

Ottawa County residents who are not part of a workplace campaign can donate to United Way and search for volunteer opportunities online at www.ottawaunitedway.org; text “OTTAWA” to 91999; or mail a donation to Greater Ottawa County United Way, P.O. Box 1349, Holland, MI 49422.

This year, anonymous donors have committed $80,000 in matching dollars for new and increased leadership gifts of $500 and above from residents of Ottawa County and anyone who donates through an Ottawa County workplace campaign. As of Dec. 31, 2016, $439,515 in leadership gifts have been received, with $71,573 in new or increased gifts that are eligible for the $80,000 match.

To learn more about leadership giving, visit www.ottawaunitedway.org/lighthouse-leadership-circle or contact Director of Major Gifts Louann Werksma at 616-610-1338.

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