United Way kicks off community campaign and debuts Johnson Controls Volunteer Center

September 6, 2018

United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County’s campaign focuses on creating lasting change through fundraising and volunteer goals.

For the first time, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County kicked off their annual Community Campaign right at home at their Milwaukee offices. The event coincided with the grand opening of the Johnson Controls Volunteer Center, located on the ground floor of United Way’s Schlitz Park location.

United Way’s 2018 campaign and volunteer leadership cut the ribbon on the brand-new Johnson Controls Volunteer center alongside sponsors Mark Irgens of Irgens and George Oliver of Johnson Controls.

In June, United Way announced a Community Campaign goal of $56 million, which will impact hundreds of thousands of local individuals and families by supporting 220-plus programs at more than 110 local agency program partners in the areas of health, education, and financial stability.

“A gift to United Way is the best investment of your charitable dollars,” said Amy Lindner, president of United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, “our team of in-house experts and rich community partnerships uniquely position us to impact complex issues like drug abuse, homelessness, financial instability, and more.”

Also announced at the Kickoff event was a goal of 40,000 volunteer hours, to be completed during the newly-expanded Seasons of Caring.

The Volunteer Center is generously supported by a $1 million gift from Johnson Controls, pro-bono design and construction administration by Irgens, and additional sponsorship support from Rockwell Automation, Interstate Parking and HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank, N.A. The new space will elevate existing volunteer efforts to focus on additional ways for corporations, families, and individuals to give back to their community. Attendees at the campaign kickoff event were invited to tour the center.

United Way’s Rhonda McLin (L) and Dracy Lockett (right) celebrate the kickoff of the 2018 Community Campaign.

“We believe in the transformative power of volunteerism— not only for the community being served, but for the volunteers themselves,” says George Oliver, chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls. “When we strategically work together with good will and without regard for who gets the credit, we can change the trajectory of lives.”

“This volunteer goal enhances the resources mobilized through donations,” said Jay Magulski, president and CEO of Landmark Credit Union and chair of United Way’s Volunteer Engagement committee. “This support helps United Way partner agencies and initiatives fulfill their missions and offer services they may not have the capacity to do without the extra time and talent that volunteers provide.”

Attendees of the event also heard from the 2018 United Way campaign co-chairs.

“The gift of time is just as valuable to our community as a monetary gift,” said Don Layden, venture partner at Baird Capital and partner at Quarles & Brady LLP and a United Way 2018 campaign co-chair. “United Way works because thousands of people give what they can, no matter how much, to contribute toward the betterment of our community.”

“As a Waukesha businessman and resident, I have friends and family from all walks of life,” said Mike Rowe, chairman, president, and CEO of American Transmission Company and a United Way 2018 campaign co-chair. “One of the things I love to see is when people step up and find a way to help themselves. And I love making a difference in helping those families help themselves. United Way helps all of us do just that.”

“United Way has a vast understanding of community needs and we have a shared commitment to improving the quality of life for area residents,” said Cristy Garcia- Thomas, chief external affairs officer for Advocate Aurora Health Care and a United Way 2018 campaign co-chair. “We’re grateful to partner with United Way on important sexual assault and domestic violence programs as one in four women and one in six men are assaulted during their lifetime. That means that over half a million of the patients we serve across WI and IL will be impacted. Tackling this issue together has had a positive and significant impact in the lives of people affected.”

“Being a numbers person, I can’t help but notice that between my home and my office are six of the eight poorest zip codes in Wisconsin,” said David Gay, managing partner at Enest & Young and a United Way 2018 campaign co-chair. “The neighbors who need us are closer than we think, and United Way knows where to put their focus locally.”

United Way’s 2018 Community Campaign results will be announced on December 12 at the Campaign Closing event hosted by Aurora Health Care at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.

There are many ways to get involved in with the campaign. You can donate through your workplace giving campaign or make direct personal contributions. You can also volunteer as part of a group or as an individual. United Way invites you to join the movement, because change does not happen alone. To live better, we must Live United.

About United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County: United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our local community. We win by Living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against our community’s most daunting social crises. Learn more at: http://www.UnitedWayGMWC.org

Be part of the change: http://twitter.com/UnitedWayGMWC https://www.facebook.com/UnitedWayGMWC