2021 was the year of U
We had a blast celebrating the impact made possible by this community’s support through our annual Stronger United Awards Celebration — which we hope was our last virtual event for quite some time.
One thing was clear in 2021 as we continued to help our community rebound from the pandemic and build a more equitable future: You were the driving force behind our work. You changed lives every single day with your generosity. And you moved our community forward.
Whether it was volunteering for one of our service projects, making a gift to our community campaign or lending your voice to advocate for big change, your support made a difference.
Because of you, we are proud to be able to invest more than $12 million in Greenville County through grants, direct services and strategic programs that serve our community every day.
Because of you, we are able to invest strategically in the very best, most effective community partners. Last year, we provided $4 million in critical funding to 70 local programs serving more than 35,000 people with basic needs, education, job training and much, much more.
And because of you, we can roll up our sleeves and go to work when we see a gap, developing and leading initiatives like OnTrack Greenville, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the Greenville Racial Equity and Economic Mobility (REEM) Commission.
To all of the people, companies and organizations who stepped up to support United Way in 2021, we thank you for your commitment to making Greenville County a better place for us all.
Among the awards presented this year was the United Way Spirit Award, our highest honor for community service and leadership. This year’s recipient was Judge Merl Code whose longtime community and organizational leadership has helped shape Greenville County into what it is today. Merl was the founding chair of our African American Leadership Greenville (AALG) group in 1999, was United Way’s first African American board chair, and currently serves as co-chair of the Greenville Racial Equity and Economic Mobility (REEM) Commission.
We also celebrated the generosity of companies and organizations who participated in our annual workplace campaign. This year, nearly 20,000 people in Greenville County made the decision to donate to United Way to create a better community for all.
Michelin North America, Inc., turned in the largest workplace campaign in 2021, followed by Prisma Health, Greenville County Schools, Publix Super Markets, GE, ITW Hartness, Fluor Corporation Greenville, TD Bank, Mitsubishi Polyester Film, Inc., and Canal Insurance Company.
Other honorees included:
- The Campaign Award of Excellence to 191 companies.
- The Chairman’s Award to 37 companies.
- The Campaign Award of Advancement to 55 companies for achieving a 25 percent increase in dollars raised and participation
- The Premier Award to 16 organizations for running their first United Way campaign
- The Most Creative Event Award to Fluor Corporation Greenville, which hosted several creative events that helped lead to a successful campaign: Zoom cooking class with Chef Shaun from Sony’s, Painting with a Purpose, and their silent auction.
- The Outstanding Campaign Coordinator Award to Niki Driver with Sealed Air – Simpsonville, who led her team to double their giving between 2020 and 2021. She also ensured a generous corporate match from Sealed Air.
- The Most Engaged Corporate Leader Award to Anderson Garcia with GE, who not only serves on the United Way Board of Directors, but plays an active and critical role in GE’s overall giving campaign.
- The Above and Beyond New Campaign Award to Ingram Micro, which conducted a “best practices” campaign their very first year through employee meetings, raffles, and volunteer participation in School Tools and Project Joy — all on their way to raising over $12,000 for our community.
- The Above and Beyond Corporate Campaign Award to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, C. Dan Joyner REALTORS, which raised $14,000 more in 2021 than 2020 through their charity golf tournament and exciting campaign meetings across all of their locations.
- The Rising Star Engagement Award to Proterra, which stepped up to make spirits bright for students supported by Project Joy. Not only did they sign up to provide for 45 students; they also donated the use of one of their buses to help deliver gifts to local schools.
- The All-Star Engagement Award to Michelin North America, Inc., whose team completed 544 hours of volunteer service (over $15,000 of impact) in 2021. Each year, Michelin goes above and beyond to serve the most vulnerable in our community from year-round team service projects to volunteer leadership through our Board of Directors and Campaign Cabinet, as well as the REEM Council.
You can watch the full awards show below:
Feeling inspired to make an impact today? Click here to give and build a stronger Greenville County for all.