By Ted Walter,
2014 Campaign Chair
Fifth Third Bank
The 2014 United Way of Summit County Campaign is well underway. We are mobilizing thousands of people across the county to take action to improve education, income and health in our community. Our goal: raising $12.8 million, the largest amount in our history.
United Way’s aim is ambitious – to create opportunities for a better life for every resident of Summit County. And our goals, strategies and investments in the ‘common good’ are tied directly to Summit County’s long-term economic success.
Achievement of the American Dream is rooted in individual hard work and attainment. The hopes for prosperity and upward mobility require each of us to take ownership of our personal success. But people without access to education, stable jobs, health care and other essential goods and services cannot achieve the dream and weaken the durability and growth of the Summit County economy.
United Way’s investments in education, income and health benefit all of us. Access to high-quality education is a proven economic driver. People with stable incomes are producers, distributors and consumers. When individuals have opportunities for better health, business productivity increases, health care costs fall, and we all win.
Our United Way has learned in recent years that to make a real difference on behalf of the common good we must harness complimentary capabilities to make possible the biggest impact. Social issues like access to quality education, poverty and community health are complex. United Way has partnered with other nonprofits for many years and recognizes the new frontier is collaboration also with government, corporations, academia and others.
Stories of success are made a reality because of the generosity of our donors. Individuals and families have embarked on a clear path to improved lives through United Way’s collaborative work and partnership initiatives such as Summit County Cradle to Career, Bridges Summit County – A Community Response to Poverty and the Summit County Reentry Network. These initiatives and others hold tremendous promise to spur innovation, increase productivity, cultivate new consumer dollars and ultimately help eradicate poverty while securing our collective prosperity.
For more than 95 years United Way of Summit County has been a trustworthy steward of community aspirations and community resources. With the help of our donors and the support of our partners we bring the expertise and resources needed to help all people realize their full potentials. As we bring individuals and organizations together to advance the common good our mission is about community change.
Help us create even more stories of collective success. Join our movement of people determined to make a difference. Support the 2014 United Way Campaign as generously as you can. Give. Encourage your friends to give. Spread the word. Volunteer. Be a part of the community change United Way leads across Summit County.
Please make a pledge through your workplace campaign or visit uwsummit.org/give to make a gift. Because great things happen when we live united.
Ted Walter is Fifth Third Bank’s City president for the Akron, Canton and Youngstown markets and chair of the 2014 United Way/Red Cross Campaign in Summit County.