International Paper continues its history of strong support for United Way with the recent announcement that the organization has raised over $1.2 million for our Mid-South community this year.
Employees at International Paper generously contributed $765,594 (a dramatic increase over last year’s impressive $703,644), and the corporation’s strong 60-cents-on-the-dollar matching program added another $459,356.
One of the keys to International Paper’s continued fundraising success is a special Leadership Giver breakfast the company hosts at the beginning of the campaign. International Paper employees who gave $500 or more to United Way in the previous year were invited to the event. For this drive, the invitation was expanded to include those who had given at least $250, along with employees who were identified as “potential” Leadership Givers. Forty different United Way partner agencies (up from 25 in years past) were present at the breakfast to share how donations to United Way improve lives across our community. The meeting proved so popular and so large, it had to be moved to nearby Kirby Woods Church to accommodate the increased attendance.
Another important aspect of leadership giving is participation in United Way’s prestigious Tocqueville Society, made up of philanthropic citizens who give $10,000 or more in a single year. International Paper now has eight leaders serving the Mid-South as Society members.
United Way board member John Balboni, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, served as United Way’s International Paper Tocqueville Chairman and is a champion of United Way’s work. Balboni spoke about International Paper’s commitment to the Mid-South during United Way’s Day of Caring fundraising kickoff in September.
Jon Ernst, Vice President of Imaging Papers and International Paper’s volunteer United Way Campaign Chairman, says his fellow employees are very involved in the community and understand how donations make a difference.
“I am proud to be a part of a company and group of people that continue to make a difference by stepping up to the challenge year after year,” Ernst said.
Tracy Pearson, Vice President of Foodservice Business, served as International Paper’s United Way Campaign Co-Chair. Pearson says it is clear her fellow employees lived up to the challenge of making the Mid-South a better place to work and live.
“International Paper employees continue to be generous,” she said. “International Paper has achieved a successful campaign, raising needed funds and caring for people all over our community.”
United Way President Bryce Haugsdahl saluted the work of International Paper employees in a recent fundraising meeting when he observed, “in an economy like this, when you look for examples, you look at an organization like International Paper – they set an aggressive fundraising goal, and then not only met the goal but went beyond it – that gives you an idea of what this region can do when dedicated people care about our community.”