United Way staff and Loaned Executives joined together for a final campaign countdown meeting featuring the full group last month.
Most of United Way’s Loaned Executives class returned to their regular workplaces after the meeting, having helped United Way reach a strong place in this year’s ongoing regional fundraising drive.
It was a Thanksgiving meeting that will be long remembered as the Loaned Executives and Sponsored Representatives surprised the United Way staff by coming together onstage to sing the popular anthem “We Are the World” (and they did a fine job with the song, too).
The meeting also featured a slideshow of Loaned Executive photos from the campaign year and the group presented a gift to volunteer General Campaign Chairman John Crowe and a plaque to the United Way staff.
“This is kind of bittersweet for all of the staff. This time of year, I think, ‘everybody is in campaign,’” United Way Sr. Vice President of Fundraising Faye Carter said. “We couldn’t do it without the assistance and support of the volunteers and our entire organization. We won’t ever again in our lifetime have this gathering of exactly the same folks that we do right now. Think about it.”
“To our Loaned Executives and Sponsored Representatives class, we thank you,” Carter said. “I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t mean it – this class is one of the most mature classes we’ve seen come through this organization. That’s helped staff focus on the job and getting the job done.”
Currently, the United Way seasonal fundraising drive is ahead of comparable numbers from last year, having already raised $21.3 million for the Mid-South.
United Way President Bryce Haugsdahl thanked the group for all their hard work.
“You went out there with enthusiasm and excitement when it would have been easier to quit,” he said. “You began to share a common experience, connecting and sharing stories with each other. A bond begins to grow from sharing similar experiences.”
Haugsdahl added that many Loaned Executives this year had to step out of their comfort zones to make public speeches, attend late night shift meetings, work on Saturday mornings and patiently wait for phone calls that sometimes went unreturned.
“But you reached down deep inside and did it anyway. Isn’t that love? For sharing these things with us, and letting us share them with you, we thank you,” Haugsdahl said.
UPDATE: United Way held a campaign meeting yesterday in advance of the holidays and the numbers were once again very impressive.
Speakers shared information about notable gifts to United Way from ServiceMaster, Smith & Nephew, FedEx, local and federal government employees, the Major Firms division and the Services division.