United Way of Greater Rochester recently announced the launch of its 100th anniversary campaign — a yearlong celebration of community giving and an evolution for the organization to share goals throughout the year in service to the Greater Rochester community.
Chaired by Faheem Masood, president and CEO of ESL Federal Credit Union, the 2018 United Way campaign launched at George Eastman Museum with more than 500 leadership donors, community leaders, members of labor, volunteers and nonprofit service providers in attendance.
In the home of founder George Eastman, United Way shared its goals for the centennial year, including a shift from a four-month workplace campaign to a year-round operation. Mirroring Eastman’s original ask in 1918, the organization’s leaders called for the community to come together to give for those who need support in Rochester.
United Way will share the total impact of the yearlong effort at the end of its 100th anniversary, including dollars raised through the annual workplace campaign, grants secured for community projects and initiatives, regional fundraising in the six-county surrounding area, ROC the Day donations for the eighth annual giving event and the impact of collective generosity. The organization has the potential to raise more than $30 million for Greater Rochester.
Jaime Saunders, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Rochester, vowed to exceed the previous workplace campaign total of $25.4 million, citing the organization’s efforts to “reach for the stars” in the centennial year.
“What United Way is and does for the Rochester community encompasses much more than a four-month campaign,” Saunders said. “We’re a helper, a problem solver, a convener, a champion for human services and an ambassador for the local people who need our help. We’re shifting our efforts to a year-round cycle of service to the community, and we look forward to sharing all that we have achieved together — dollars raised, people served and impact of collective efforts — as they happen to celebrate small victories, and all together at the end of this milestone year.”
In tribute to George Eastman’s original $500,000 gift to what began as the Rochester Patriotic and Community Fund, ESL Federal Credit Union is offering the 2018 ESL Give Back Challenge. ESL will match all new and increased donations to United Way’s Community Fund in 2018, up to $500,000.
“We believe, as our founder George Eastman believed, that a community’s prosperity depends on the prosperity of all of its members,” Masood said. “At ESL, we are genuinely vested — and invested — in the success of local businesses, which in turn breeds success for families, employees and the community as a whole. The ESL Give Back Challenge will honor Eastman’s legacy and inspire community members to give in support of United Way to help thousands of local people thrive.”
United Way of Greater Rochester will celebrate its 100th anniversary with events throughout the year, including a birthday cake celebration at all Rochester Wegmans stores on April 14 and a 100th Birthday Bash on April 21 at Kodak Center Theater.
Visit uwrochester.org for information.