Buckeye Technologies, Inc. formally kicked off its work for this year’s United Way fundraising campaign last Friday, but several leaders from the organization have been very active in our community-wide work for the past several months.
John Crowe, President and CEO of Buckeye Technologies, is also this year’s United Way General Campaign Chairman, leading the fundraising effort for the entire Mid-South region.
“With John as the General Campaign Chairman of the United Way campaign, Buckeye is helping lead the way for the whole Mid-South. The rest of Memphis gets to see what Buckeye does,” said Terry Reed, campaign coordinator for the United Way fundraising drive among Buckeye employees.
Buckeye is planning a variety of fun events to help elevate employee awareness of this year’s United Way fundraising drive including a car wash, auctions and a favorite event at the company- a delicious dessert auction.
Speaking with his fellow Buckeye employees, Crowe shared thoughts about being this year’s regional United Way General Campaign Chairman: “I had ‘dodged that bullet’ a couple of times in the past when they came and asked me to serve,” Crowe said, jokingly.
“I was already on the United Way Board and I’ve been giving to this organization since I was a First Lieutenant in the Air Force. Sometimes we have a tendency to hide behind the idea that ‘yeah I’m doing enough and I don’t have the time.’ But what I realized is, I don’t have the time not to do it,” Crowe said, adding that he strongly agrees with United Way’s mission to improve lives across our community through mobilizing local resources.
Crowe told his fellow Buckeye employees that he has met with mayors, CEO’s, business leaders and bank presidents and “the 49 special people that make up our local United Way staff.” He also praised United Way’s Loaned Executives and Sponsored Representatives and has seen how the team has formed a bond in its drive to make sure this year’s campaign is successful. “But most of all, they know how to keep it fun,” he said.
“The way you live your life does impact people, whether you believe it or not. Every one of you is a role model to somebody. And that is one of the great things about America… you can be anybody you want. Somebody’s always watching you and the way you live your life has an impact on others,” Crowe said.
Buckeye provided more than 40 employees who served our community at local nonprofit agencies during United Way’s Day of Caring in September.
“We’re not the biggest company in town, but we are a company that over the years has created a legacy of doing the right thing with United Way,” Crowe said.
Faye Carter, Senior Vice President of Fundraising at United Way, thanked Crowe for his compassionate and giving spirit. This year, Crowe has recruited one of the largest United Way campaign cabinets in local United Way history.
“The real goal is about more than raising money. The real goal is also about educating people about United Way and the needs in our community. When we do both, ultimately, we can improve lives. Buckeye is one of those organizations that is focused on the real goals,” Carter said.
Speakers from United Way network partner agencies also shared stories of how donations can make a difference. Amy Schaftlein, Grants and Communications Manager at United Housing, and Sean Lee, Executive Director at Porter Leath, helped give Buckeye employees an even greater understanding of how United Way agencies work to make a difference in our community.