From the Archive: Volunteer Spotlight | James Lunsford knows United Way and says “making it comfortable’ helps A&B Distributing raise funds to improve our community

James Lunsford

James Lunsford knows that it’s important for our community that his company, A&B Distributing, runs a United Way campaign to support efforts to improve education, financial stability and health.

Lunsford, President of A&B Distributing, has seen the United Way system up-close during his work as a Loaned Executive with the local United Way in San Angelo, Texas.

Loaned Executives are volunteers from local businesses who are “loaned” to United Way during the fundraising season to help United Way’s campaign work. With volunteers like Lunsford helping to lead the charge at A&B Distributing (a primary Budweiser distributor in Olive Branch, MS) employees are getting the message and stepping up to help our community.

Last year, the A&B Distributing campaign saw a dramatic 30% increase in giving compared to the previous year’s results – despite the challenges from the economic climate.

A&B Distributing sees that one of the benefits of running a United Way fundraising drive is that it helps boost organization morale. One of the most popular morale-boosting events is an annual barbecue with United Way speakers from local nonprofit partner agencies who share how financial gifts make a difference in people’s lives across our community.

Lunsford has championed United Way to his employees by keeping it “low stress” and by providing various agency speakers to help employees understand that by giving to the organization, they are helping many citizens in our community in many different ways.

“Our employees learn that giving to United Way is important here,” he said. “They know that United Way is a one-stop shop helping people in a tremendous number of ways. When we ask them to give at a rate that’s comfortable, that helps more than anything.”

Lunsford said that employees make donations through payroll deduction, and that everyone finds a way to make some type of contribution.

“The best thing I got out of being a Loaned Executive was the chance to visit all the nonprofit partner agencies and see first-hand how people’s lives are changed and the commitment the United Way system has to our communities.”

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