United Way Launches United Way Express: Bus Tours to Celebrate 60th Anniversary and Raise Awareness

Home » News » United Way Launches United Way Express: Bus Tours to Celebrate 60th Anniversary and Raise Awareness

On Wednesday, January 11, 2017, United Way of North Central Florida officially kicked off its 60th Anniversary year with the United Way Express – a series of community bus tours to help bring donors up-close-and-personal to the causes they care most about.

The bus tours, sponsored by Candies Limousines & Motorcoaches,  feature themed tours to funded programs in the six-county footprint of United Way (Alachua, Bradford, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy and Union Counties). Each tour will visit at least three different agencies a day and will focus on how the programs improve the health, education and financial stability of the people they serve. (A listing of bus tour dates can be found on the next page).

A Legacy of Impact

“It was 1957 when United Way first opened its doors in Alachua County and raised $84,700 – nearly $10,000 over the goal,” said Deborah Bowie, UWNCFL President & CEO. “So much has changed over the years. Not just in the number of people we serve but in the amount of money it takes to make a real impact.”

Since 1957, United Way has raised nearly $100 million dollars in the community, Bowie said. The economic impact to the region last year exceeded $12 million, but not all of that money stayed local, she said.

“The only pot of money that stays in our community at 100% is the Community Investment Fund, unless someone gives directly to an agency of their choosing. This fund is extremely important in how we fund local initiatives and leverage the community for success,” Bowie said.

Agencies compete for funding from United Way, and nearly all of them who receive funding leverage those dollars with state and federal grant match dollars at a ratio of 3:1, Bowie said. That means for every $1 the agency receives, they bring in $3 in federal and/or state funding. Currently, the Community Investment Fund supports 35 programs through a three-year investment cycle of $1 million a year. The most recent funding cycle yielded $2.7 million in requests, nearly three times the amount of available funding, she said.

Take the $5 a month Anniversary Pledge

As part of the 60th anniversary celebration, United Way is asking donors to make a $5 a month anniversary pledge to the Community Investment Fund. For $5 more a month — $60 a year – the agency can fund more programs that educate more children, provide a place for someone to sleep, help a family move out of poverty and allow a working mom to pay for quality day care.

To reserve your seat on the United Way Express bus, choose from the following tour dates:

  • Wednesday, January 11
  • Wednesday, January 18
  • Wednesday, April 12
  • Wednesday, June 7
  • Wednesday, October 18

RSVP to Mary Broadfoot at mbroadfoot@unitedwayncfl.org or 352-331-2800.

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