Executive Director for United Way of St. Charles John Dias admits he was very concerned about how the agency would be able to raise money this year.
Those concerns, thankfully, were in vain.
Traditionally, UWSC team members visit companies and worksites located in the parish to promote the organization’s giving campaign, but those routines were thwarted this year because of coronavirus precautions and mitigations.
However, Dias said thanks to the generosity of strong partnerships, the UWSC’s recently completed campaign was down only 5% from last year.
“To be just down about 5% down … that’s a little tiny amount when we are in a world of COVID and the worst pandemic anyone can ever remember,” Dias said. “We consider ourselves very, very lucky.”
Dias said that around the country other United Way chapters have seen their annual drives down by as much as 25%.
“We feel like our industry and our company champions who have promoted the United Way have really come through when we needed them,” he said. “I’m genuinely humbled and appreciative.”
The United Way of St. Charles provides funding for 32 partner agencies and 100+ programs throughout the year, with the non-profit giving over $3.8 million in annual funding to those agencies and programs. Dias said because of the strong campaign this year, funding will continue for each area currently receiving financial support.
The top 10 companies who raised the most funds in 2020 for UWSC were recently honored at a ceremony. Dias said in year’s past each company who donated was invited to the event, but that capacity limitations at the site this year meant fewer people could be invited.
The top 10 companies of 2020 are Valero Energy Foundation, Shell Norco Manufacturing Complex, Dow, Bayer, Entergy-Waterford 3, St. Charles Parish Public Schools, Zachry Group, St. Charles Parish Government, Cornerstone Chemical Company and Rain Cii Carbon-Norco.
Dias said the top 10 companies collectively donated 98.6% of the total UWSC 2020 campaign.
Other companies who participated in the 2020 giving campaign are A Safe Space of St. Charles Domestic Violence Program, Access Health Louisiana, Am/Pm Staffing Services, Arc of St. Charles, AT&T, Atmos, Beaed of Louisiana, CADA, Catholic Charities, St. Charles Council on Aging, Creative Family Solutions, FedEx, First National Bank USA, Hancock Bank, J.B. Levert Land Company, Metro Centers for Community Advocacy, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Southeast Legal Services, St. Charles Parish 4-H Clubs, St. Charles Parish Hospital, St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, Turner Industries, UPS, Valero St. Charles Refinery and Youth Empowerment Program.