United Way's 2013 campaign raises $17.6 million for Orlando-area residents - OrlandoSe... Page 1 of 2
OrlandoSentinel.com United Way's 2013 campaign raises $17.6 million for Orlandoarea residents By Kate Santich, Orlando Sentinel 5:51 PM EDT, May 23, 2013 The local United Way celebrated the final tally for its yearly community fundraising campaign Thursday â€” $17.6 million.
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The donations will help about 360,000 residents of Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties who need health care, housing, education and programs that support financial literacy and safety. It is less than last year's $19.4 million total, which included a one-time donation of about $3 million from Walt Disney World. For the 2011-2012 campaign, the theme-park company took the unusual step of matching contributions made by employees. Overall, campaign leaders called this year's effort a success, crediting a rebounding economy. "It has been pretty miserable out there in the workplace for the past few years," said Robert Brown, president and CEO of the Heart of Florida United Way. "But in most places, people are no longer looking over their shoulders to see if human resources is coming down the hall" to inform workers of lay-offs. "So a lot of companies stepped up their giving." The annual community campaign is fueled mostly through about 400 large employers in the tri-county region. Each holds its own company-wide fundraising effort for the United Way, asking workers to consider making individual one-time donations or ongoing payroll deductions for the charity. Brown said many companies use the campaign as a good-natured competition between departments. Florida Hospital employees had the biggest single increase in their giving: They pledged $410,000, up $102,000 from last year. But Brown said the generosity also may have been fueled by a new awareness of recession-driven suffering.
United Way's 2013 campaign raises $17.6 million for Orlando-area residents - OrlandoSe... Page 2 of 2
"This economic crisis, unlike any we've been through in my lifetime, was not discriminatory," said Brown, 70. "We all know friends, family or coworkers who have needed help. It's not just some anonymous other person â€” it's people we know and love." The 2012-2013 campaign was chaired by Shawn Bartelt, vice-president and general manager of WFTV Channel 9 and WRDQ Channel 27. firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5503 Copyright ÂŠ 2013, Orlando Sentinel