United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades has concluded their 2022-2023 Campaign, and exceeded the campaign goal of $11.19 million. This is the 30th consecutive year that the goal has been met or exceeded.
Campaign Chairs Sally Jackson (Community Volunteer, Retired Lee Health) and Matt Humphreys (Publix Store Manager) announced that residents and companies of Southwest Florida contributed a record $11.2 million to the campaign. The theme of the 2022-2023 United Way Campaign was changed after Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc on our portion of paradise. “We decided to switch to a more meaningful theme after the hurricane to let everyone know that our community is United More Than Ever” says United Way President and CEO, Jeannine Joy.
“To be part of something as impactful as United Way’s Campaign to raise $11.19 million, all of which will stay right here in our community, a community ravaged by Hurricane Ian, is absolutely remarkable. With the incredible support of my Co-Chair Sally Jackson, we saw the community become United More Than Ever. I was able to witness first-hand how people open their hearts and pour out every ounce of thoughtfulness and compassion simply for the betterment of others. That’s what makes United Way so great: people helping people, to make a community stronger.” says Humphreys. “As we started the campaign, our campaign cabinet organized quickly and connected with the leaders of corporate and community campaigns early last summer, to re-engage after the restrictions of the pandemic years. Little did we know that early effort would help sustain us as we paused everything for several months after Hurricane Ian. I continue to be inspired by the generosity of our community. Not only did we exceed our $11.19 million goal to meet specific agency needs, but we also saw our community donate an additional $7 million to the Hurricane Recovery fund. We are grateful to all the donors who recognized both needs and responded.” states Jackson.
Alexis de Tocqueville donors are those that donate over $10,000 to United Way. This year, Alexis de Tocqueville donors, led by the esteemed David Lucas, comprised 52% of the campaign. Mr. Lucas has a 33-year history of fostering philanthropy among his United Way peers resulting in over $59 million going back to the community. Mr. Lucas brought in 20 new members to the group, which brings this year’s total to 199 members, and a record-shattering $5,786,787.
Making the goal means United Way Partner agencies will receive their share of funding for the coming year. Long standing United Way Partners like Bonita Springs Assistance, Child Care of Southwest Florida, Family Initiative, Lighthouse of Southwest Florida, Pace Center for Girls, and United Way 211 will be able to continue their vital programs because of the support provided to United Way by the community in surpassing our goal. Because of the generosity of Southwest Florida, hungry families will receive food, veterans will find support through Mission United, abused children will find safety and shelter, our seniors can find assistance to remain in their own homes, and thousands of lower income families can get their taxes done free through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Donations and support help others live a better life.
“From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of the individuals, companies, communities, and partner agencies for your generous contributions. You all prove time and again what an incredibly caring community this is,” said United Way President and CEO, Jeannine Joy.
“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of our community in reaching this year’s United Way campaign goal – especially in light of responding to the devastation from Hurricane Ian. On behalf of the network of United Way partner agencies, thank you to all our donors for the overwhelming support of the work we do to make Lee County a great place to live and work.” states Dotty St. Amand, Chief Executive Officer of Lighthouse of Southwest Florida.
In addition to supporting over 260 programs, United Way has so far provided relief for those impacted by Hurricane Ian:
- $2,754,877 in direct funding to 161 agencies and programs. The majority of these funds were spent on households for direct assistance, repairs, utilities, food/water, rent/mortgage, moving assistance. Also included is playground equipment and fencing for daycare centers so they could reopen, and families could get back to work or continue fixing their homes.
- $874,370 in VISA/MC, Publix, Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot Gift cards to agencies, churches, etc. to help with immediate needs and replacement of essentials.
- Distributed $4.15 million to school children through the School Resource Center in brand new clothes, shoes, hygiene products, school supplies.
- Distributed $16.9 million in flooring, drywall, mattresses, beds, bedding, and dining room/living room/bedroom furniture to local agencies, volunteer groups, and families.
United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades has raised and distributed over $221 million since it was established in 1957. For more information, please call United Way at 239.433.2000 or visit www.UnitedWayLee.org