United Way Makes Goal


The United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades has concluded the 2021-2022 Campaign, and met the campaign goal of $11.1 million. This is the 29th consecutive year that the goal has been met or exceeded.

Campaign Chairs Noelle Branning (Lee County Tax Collector) and Corey Vertich (Uhler & Vertich Financial Planning) announced that local residents and companies contributed a record amount of $11.1 MILLION to the campaign. The theme of the 2021-2022 United Way Campaign was “Back to the Future”. “The United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades met its fundraising goal of $11.1 million despite an economy devastated by COVID-19 and rising inflation. It is stunning and speaks volumes about the generosity of our community,” states Branning.

“It has been an honor to work with Noelle Branning and all of the leaders in our community to achieve this incredible goal. Seeing how many people are so committed reach this essential goal shows just how much our community cares. Now that we have met it, our United Way can help our 90 partner agencies look forward to doing their important work by going "Back to the Future!" says Vertich “To announce that Corey Vertich and I have reached this year’s campaign goal of $11.1 million is a testament to the unwavering support Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties have to help those in need.  This is the largest campaign goal in United Way’s history with the most money ever raised in a single campaign.  What does this mean?  It means we are giving back to the future.  It means that every United Way partner agency is being fully funded.  It means our business community and individuals are committed to this philanthropic cause.  But in simplest terms, it means we are changing lives.  Corey and I could not have accomplished this goal without the help of the United Way staff and David Lucas.  I am in awe of David Lucas’ nonstop efforts to support United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties.”  adds Branning.

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 46.8% of the campaign. Mr. Lucas has a 32-year history of fostering philanthropy among his United Way peers resulting in almost $53.3 million going back to the community. This year, with David’s encouragement, there was an additional $670,382 donated to the campaign; a 10.5% increase over last year’s totals. Mr. Lucas brought in an additional 32 members to the group, which brings this year’s total to 217 members, and a record-shattering $5,193,688.

Making the goal means United Way Partner agencies will receive their share of funding for the coming year. Long standing United Way Partners like Harry Chapin Food Bank, Community Cooperative, Abuse Counseling and Treatment (ACT), and Children’s Advocacy Center 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, older people 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.

“A very sincere thank you to 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.

“It is such a testament to the incredible generosity of our community and the drive and tenacity of the entire United Way Team for achieving this incredible goal. On behalf of the entire United Way Partner Agency Network, we extend our gratitude to everyone who made reaching this goal possible,” states Dotty St. Amand, Chief Executive Officer of Lighthouse of Southwest Florida.

The top local contributing companies and communities are as follows:


Million Dollar Circle of Excellence

Bonita Bay Community


$500,000 Circle of Excellence

Islands of Sanibel & Captiva

Bonita Bay Group 

$300,000 Circle of Excellence

Beesley’s Paw Prints

$200,000 Circle of Excellence

FineMark National Bank & Trust

Pelican Landing Community

Grandezza Community
Fiddlesticks Community

$100,000 Circle of Excellence

Lee Health

Lee Board of County

Shell Point Community

Gulf Harbour Community

The Brooks Community

Lee County School District              


All money raised in the United Way Campaign stays in the local community to help support the local human service network. United Way partner agencies and initiatives like Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, Child Care of Southwest Florida, The Salvation Army, Bonita Springs Assistance, Lighthouse of Southwest Florida,  Mission United and United Way 211 serve a diverse range of needs in our community such as nurturing children and youth, strengthening families and meeting critical needs such as helping the elderly and disabled live independently and empowering communities by bringing health and human services to neighborhoods.

In addition to supporting 90 Partner Agencies and over 260 programs, in 2021 United Way provided:

  • 85,213 articles of clothing, hygiene products, and school supplies to students in need through the United Way School Resource Center, over $2.4 million impact.
  • 1,608 veterans with resources for housing, counseling, and care coordination.
  • Tax returns for 6,800 individuals and families resulting in $10.8 million from refunds and fees going back into the Southwest Florida economy.
  • Response to 76,370 United Way 211 calls directing families and residents to much needed services.

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades has raised and distributed over $210 million since it was established in 1957. For more information, please call United Way at 239.433.2000 or visit www.UnitedWayLee.org.