United Way Kicks Off 2023 Campaign

Sep 1, 2023 by

United Way officially kicks off its 2023 campaign — announcing $1,103,723 in early support.

AUGUSTA - United Way of Kennebec Valley (UWKV) launched its 2023 fundraising season with $1,103,723 in committed early support at the Campaign Kickoff Breakfast — an increase of more than $100,000 from last year's event. On Wednesday morning, 18 businesses reported early campaign success to a crowd of more than 250 people.


Michele Pelletier, of Performance Foodservice – NorthCenter, and her husband Dan Webster III, retired from the State of Maine, are co-chairing United Way's annual appeal effort. Last year, one in four Kennebec County residents received direct support from a United Way-funded program. Donations to UWKV funded 58 programs — a net increase of nine programs over last year — with requests for funding exceeding available dollars by $400,000. This data highlights the significant increase in need for services that has been impacting not only Kennebec County, but many nonprofits across the state.

This year, United Way announced that it will be increasing its annual campaign goal by 3 percent, hoping to raise $1.9 million in response to the growing needs of community members. In order to meet this goal, Pelletier and Webster have challenged the community to ask someone — a spouse, friend, family member, coworker, or fellow business — to join the United Way fundraising effort this year. Furthermore, the couple announced that they will be personally matching any donation received from a new supporter, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000.


During the event, Pelletier and Webster shared that the campaign focuses on improving the financial stability of Kennebec County by investing in programs that aid people in securing employment and mitigate barriers that are preventing financial stability.


"Being the president of Performance Foodservice, I see firsthand what some of my employees are challenged with," said Pelletier. "Affordable day care isn't easy to find. Getting to and from work in a rural community can be challenging. Then think about how much more difficult that is to navigate if English isn't your first language. Challenges such as these can make it very difficult for us as employers to have an accessible and reliable workforce."


"Our neighbors are struggling with some of the most basic needs that must be met before they can hold down a job, be a dependable employee and ultimately earn a reliable paycheck," added Webster.

Erin BinGhalib, of Kennebec Valley Community Action Program (KVCAP) — a United Way-funded program — attended the event and spoke about the organization's Mobility Management program.


“The philosophy behind Mobility Management is rider’s choice. This means, when someone reaches out to KVCAP for transportation, we can offer a variety of transportation solutions to fit their specific needs,” said BinGhalib.

“The most important part of this is that the individual themselves picks the option that best fits their needs. Through this program, we can offer options such as bus passes, gas cards, mileage reimbursement, bicycles, volunteer drivers or a wheelchair accessible van trip.”

Webster presented one of the organization's 2023 campaign videos, showcasing the campaign theme, "Because of You," and associated financial stability messaging.


"We want UWKV supporters to feel a strong connection to the impacts of their donations. Because of you, our donors, our United Way can make progress toward addressing our community's most challenging issues," said Webster. "Because of you, we collectively help more than 32,000 people in our community."

To support United Way's county-wide campaign and bring hope to all our neighbors and friends, please contact 207-626-3400 or visit uwkv.org/give.
For more information about UWKV or high-resolution images, visit uwkv.org or contact Michelle Tibbetts, director of marketing at 207-626-3400 or mtibbetts@uwkv.org.

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