LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Philanthropic giving abounds in our region.
Big hearts are all around us, and the money those hearts pumped into the Metro United Way's record-breaking 100th anniversary campaign is one for the ages – topping $36 million, enabling the bold goal of surpassing $1 billion given in those 100 years to be reached.
It likely ensures another 100 years of changing the odds for generations of people, as some of that money will help bolster Metro United Way's endowment.
The campaign reflects more than a 45-percent increase from the amount raised in 2016, and the money will help provide financial resources, training and technical assistance to 99 non-profit community agencies that manage more than 150 programs, touching the lives of thousands of people in a seven-county region.
A huge thank you to all who contributed, especially the people at UPS, who led everyone by contributing more than $4.5 million. Joining UPS among the top five business contributors were Brown Forman, Humana and the Humana Foundation, GE Appliances and LG&E and KU Energy. The business community really stepped up, with 45 new companies joining the campaign. Thorntons' CEO Matt Thornton did an exceptional job as Campaign Chair, and he and his wife Fran pledged $2 million themselves for the drive, and their challenge gr ants helped double that amount.
Metro United Way President and CEO Theresa Reno-Weber's strong leadership in her first year helped secure seven Foundation gr ants and push 25 individuals to contribute more than $100,000 each.
The challenges to enhance education, health and financial stability for every person in Jefferson, Bullitt, Oldham and Shelby counties in Kentucky, and Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties in Indiana continue to grow. This effort by so many contributors, volunteers and Metro United Way team members make those challenges possible.