Employees at Belz Enterprises responded to the call for improving education, financial stability and health for our community as 100% of the workforce made pledges and/or one-time gifts to the United Way campaign this year.
Employees gave $62,515, producing an all-time high employee average gift of $679. The Belz Enterprizes corporate gift also increased, reaching $110,000 this year, bringing total contributions (including special events conducted throughout the fundraising drive) to $187,448.
One very noteworthy thing that Belz Enterprises did differently for this year’s campaign was participation in “working tours” of United Way partner agencies. A working tour takes place when a company sends employees to do the work of a particular agency for a day. This made a big difference in Belz’s campaign because employees had an opportunity to be “hands-on” with the inner workings of United Way network partner agencies.
“We had volunteers that worked at three United Way partner agencies. It was great! Those three agencies were the Mid-South Food Bank, Knowledge Quest and SRVS (Shelby Residential & Vocational Services). Our group learned a lot from the experience,” said Lucie Anderson, Belz Enterprises’ United Way campaign coordinator.
Belz employee Jay Vaughn and his daughter Christley gave a very informative, touching and emotional testimony about how gifts to United Way make a difference in ways you may not expect. Christley was born in Memphis with her heart’s two great arteries reversed, a congenital heart condition that is incompatible with life. One-week old Christley went through arterial-switch open heart surgery, the most modern procedure at the time, which had been discovered and refined thanks in part to American Heart Association research dollars. The American Heart Association, Mid-South Chapter is a part of our United Way’s partner network of care. Christley is now 10 years old and is very active in sports and athletics.
Earlier in the year, Belz Enterprises hosted a golf tournament for United Way which raised $11,500. For more fun during the campaign, employees enjoyed a luncheon and scavenger hunt through downtown Memphis. Scavenger hunt teams had to take pictures and answer trivia questions at well-known landmark spots downtown such as the statue of Elvis, the Orpheum Theatre, The Peabody’s fountain and the Court Square Park fountain. Teams also had to collect items from downtown eateries such as Pearl’s Oyster House, Rendezvous, Flying Fish, Huey’s, Kooky Canuck, Easy Way and Main Street’s Peanut Shoppe. Other fun activities included a bake sale, a rock band reunion performance, Tiger Lane tailgate parties (one provided hospitality to the University of Memphis Band’s piccolo section) and a crafts sale featuring unique creations from refurbished and recycled items.
United Way of the Mid-South wishes to thank everyone at Belz Enterprises, with special thanks to Ron Belz, a former Chairman of the United Way Board of Directors and a former General Campaign Chairman. Belz is also a recipient of the Alexis de Tocqueville Award, the highest honor United Way of the Mid-South can bestow on a local volunteer.