ANNUAL EMPLOYEE GIVING CAMPAIGN HITS CLOSE TO HOME
United Way of North Central Florida helps enrich the quality of life for seniors at ElderCare of Alachua County
Promoting the health, literacy and financial stability of people living within the community is United Way of North Central Florida’s main mission.
Every year, UF Health Shands teams up with United Way of North Central Florida, or UWNCFL, to launch an employee giving campaign. This year, we collectively raised $206,000 in a little over one month.
“There have been a variety of issues to focus on this year and the UF Health Shands team was there to respond to the need for raising financial support for United Way,” said Kathy Duval, associate vice president of operations at UF Health Shands and United Way campaign chair. “Thank you to everyone for your dedication and support.”
Duval and Anna Michelle Brandt, vice president and chief of staff for UF Health Shands, served as the campaign chair and co-chair, respectively. The campaign launched on Nov. 1 and ran until Nov. 30.
The amount raised is more than just something to be proud of — it goes directly to community partners and nonprofits ranging from the Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County to GRACE Marketplace and more, yet one partner agency is particularly close to our organization: ElderCare of Alachua County.
ElderCare of Alachua County is a 100% grant- and donation-funded agency operated by UF Health Shands, and is committed to being an advocate for the elderly and to providing services that will build capacity, maximize independence and enrich the quality of life for seniors in our area. UWNCFL is proud to fund ElderCare’s in-home and nutritional services, such as Meals on Wheels.
More than 97,000 meals were delivered to homebound seniors via Meals on Wheels last fiscal year — only possible through employee contributions like the United Way campaign.
UWNCFL directly impacts ElderCare by aggregating funding from organizations like UF Health Shands and allocating these resources to help bridge the gaps that ElderCare receives in federal funding. They also maximize federal funding allocations through matching opportunities. During the UF Health Shands employee giving campaign, donors can also designate funds to a particular 501(c)(3) nonprofit, such as ElderCare of Alachua County.
“For every dollar ElderCare brings in through United Way, we’re able to pull down $9 in federal funding,” said Kacy Ealy, executive director of ElderCare of Alachua County.
Awareness of ElderCare was at an all-time low throughout COVID-19. Yet in this transition to a new normal, the ElderCare leadership team has seen an increase in colleague participation in the United Way campaign because of more face-to-face events.
“Many of our hospital leaders have asked me to speak to their departments throughout the campaign, resulting in really learning what we do, what services we provide and what ways they can become involved,” Ealy said.
Interacting with different UF Health Shands teams has been key. For example, departments like Supply Chain Services held a “Waffles for United Way” breakfast and the nursing team on UF Health Shands Hospital Unit 64 launched a team candy bar fundraiser. Each department raised $400 with support directed to ElderCare.
“Some people know about our Meals on Wheels program, but then when I tell them the breadth of services that are available, their usual response is ‘Oh, my gosh, I had no idea,’” Ealy said.
You can view all ElderCare services here, but, most notably, the Meals on Wheels program, the Senior Recreation Center for activities, the Independence with Low Vision program and Al’z Place are extremely impactful to the communities they serve.
Dana Clayton, senior donor relations officer for UWNCFL, has worked with UF Health Shands for 11 years to garner support for each yearly workplace giving campaign. The support has continued to grow through both hospital leadership and, more importantly, from colleagues who have received services or know someone who has received help from United Way.
UF Health Shands is one of UWNCFL’s largest workplace campaigns.
“I love that we are the go-to place to make things happen,” Clayton said. “We bring organizations and people together to solve problems and make a difference.”
Visit https://www.unitedwayncfl.org/engagement to learn about how you can further support United Way of North Central Florida.
Visit https://eldercare.ufhealth.org/get-involved/ to learn about how you can further support ElderCare of Alachua County.