UNITED WAY highlights achievements while Announcing
2011 Campaign Total and recognizing outstanding companies and volunteers
(February 22, 2012) — United Way of Greater Chattanooga hosted approximately 130 supporters at its Annual Meeting and Campaign Celebration on Feb. 22, during which key companies, volunteers and clients were also recognized for their efforts on behalf of United Way, which helped the organization achieve success in 2011, including raising $11,932,321 in the annual campaign.
Board Chairman Nick Decosimo addressed United Way’s evolving focus and the community leadership that helped it succeed in 2011. He told the audience, “Under normal conditions, a board’s oversight of a large nonprofit can be challenging. With the transformation United Way has undergone over the last nine years, our United Way’s Board of Directors has had the added challenge of guiding the agency during an extensive evolution towards the new mission.”
He also shared some of United Way’s 2011 results in its three focus areas - Investing in Children and Youth, Building Stable Lives, and Supporting the Most Vulnerable – using Communications Issues Management, or CIM software, to illustrate how United Way is researching and using data to develop the strategies and partnerships for achieving its work.
After his overview of the progress of 2011, he then turned the floor over to ACE Hardware’s Tom Glenn, United Way’s 2011 Campaign Chairman and President of the Helpful Group, who shared the campaign outcomes with the audience. “Thanks to generous donors who give more and more each year to help their communities, thanks to a hardworking campaign cabinet and thanks to dedicated staff members at United Way, we raised $11,932,321 for our community,” he announced.
Mr. Glenn presented several companies and volunteers with awards for their tremendous efforts that helped to push the 2011 campaign past the stretch goal. Nominees for the Company of the Year awards were assessed on participation, fundraising, leadership and other aspects of campaign involvement. Winners were determined by a panel of judges.
The following companies and volunteers were recognized for excelling in their United Way campaign efforts:
- Large Company of the Year – Shaw Industries
- Mid-sized Company of the Year – CIGNA
- Small Company of the Year – SE Tennessee Development District
- Chairman's Award – Hospice of Chattanooga and McKee Foods
- Best First Campaign – American Fixture & Display, Hamilton Plastics, and Valmont Industries
- Employee Campaign Manager of the Year – Gina Hatler, Hamilton County Government
- Campaign Volunteer of the Year – Sandra Brewer, Brewer Media Group
- North Georgia Campaign Volunteer of the Year – Shaw Industries Campaign Team
In addition to the company awards presented, United Way also recognized theYouth Quality Assessment Collaborative as its Impact Award Winner of the Year, for working together to improve the quality of out-of-school-time programs and mapping out a path to improvement for others to more easily follow. The value of this collaboration and the work it’s doing will become apparent when participants learn how to improve and draw on each others’ strengths while providing area students with better opportunities to learn grow and thrive.
Dr. Mary Tanner was recognized as the Service Volunteer of the Year for her work with United Way’s Invest in Children and Youth and the Ready by 21 Challenge. Her passion for early childhood development has driven her long-time involvement with United Way’s work in Education. Currently, Dr. Tanner leads volunteer committees for United Way’s Invest in Children and Youth, as well as the Ready by 21 steering committee.
This year, the Tocqueville Society presents the Courage Award to Nathaniel Chatmon, Jr., who overcame personal challenges to achieve greater independence with the help of a United Way-funded program. He didn’t want to be another disability statistic sitting at home, so he sought help through a United Way-funded job services training program. He never intended to learn the business of medical equipment repair, yet he seemed to have a knack for it. He now spreads the word about this important service to the community. That’s why Nathaniel embodies the definition of courage, a transformation that was possible thanks to this program and his unwavering determination to get out into the world and make a difference.
United Way of Greater Chattanooga works to advance the common good in this region by creating opportunities for a better life for all. It does this by focusing on education, stability and support — the building blocks for a good quality of life here in the Tennessee Valley. It invites everyone to join its work. Anyone who cares about his or her community can give, advocate or volunteer. That’s what it means to LIVE UNITED. Thanks to an endowment fund that covers all overhead and administrative expenses, one hundred percent of contributions received go directly to these services that help individuals and families in greater Chattanooga, including north Georgia and northeast Alabama.
Some Highlighted United Way Results from 2011
- As UW has continued to evolve to a results-based fund distribution process, we are proud to announce that 41 (60%) of our funded programs have completed the transition to using common outcomes and indicators to address UW’s broader community goals.
- During the Tornado Disaster, 2-1-1 answered over 1400 calls and worked closely with the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Samaritan Center and Hamilton County Emergency Services to address over 1700 needs of storm victims.
- As everyone knows, the majority of United Way’s work is conducted by our nonprofit partners, but for community-wide impact, UW also partners with non-funded organizations. An example of this occurred when 4 funded health-related programs and 4 non-funded partners formed a Health Consortium and together created an assessment tool for the Building Stable Lives neighborhood coaches to identify individual problems and needs of families around health issues.
- In 2011, BSL-East Lake served 56 families (208 individuals)
- 77% maintained safe and affordable housing; and
- More than 60% were employed.
- 22 previous cases exited, because they no longer needed help.
- The second BSL neighborhood was opened in the Harriet Tubman neighborhood.
In the first 6 months, their Life Coach
- worked with 28 families and
- More than 36% of these families have found employment.
- A third BSL neighborhood - Alton Park - was added in 2011
- Project Ready for School is continuing to send books to preschool children. Over 221,000 books were mailed to homes in our 5-county area in 2011. Our data states that 89% of the children screened are on target departmentally. In previous years, the range has been between 83% and 87%
- Project Ready for School’s Early Childhood Institute (ECI) was launched.
- ECI is a sustainable, comprehensive, professional development program designed to build capacity in child care programs in the areas of leadership capacity of directors, staff capacity and program capacity.
- The nine UW funded child care centers will become Model Programs that the Institute will use to train other child care centers serving low income families.
- UW’s Volunteer Center linked over 11,000 people throughout the region with volunteer opportunities and,
- The Center for Nonprofits strengthened the capacity of our region’s nonprofits by providing 91 workshops and events in the areas of board development, fundraising, grant writing, marketing, and leadership, for 1,560 participants from over 350 organizations