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UofL Cares Spotlight: Metro United Way turns up the heat

by Joe Tolan, president and CEO, Metro United Way last modified Nov 23, 2010 10:49 AM

This has been one doozy of a campaign season.

No, I’m not talking about this political campaign season (although no one could argue that it’s been anything other than colorful). The campaign season on my minds is Metro United Way’s, and it’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway there.

Honestly, what I mean by “doozy” is exciting. Really! Not only because the numbers are looking pretty good so far (more about that later), but also because we’ve been involved in some incredible work at the same time. I’ll lead with the work because, first of all, the work never stops and, just as importantly, your decision to give generously made much of the work we’ve accomplished so far this year possible. I’d like to update you on two incredible things we’re part of right now.

55,000 Degrees — Turn Up the Heat

Publicly announced on Friday, Oct. 15, this innovative public and private partnership grew out of the Mayor’s Educational Roundtable. Its goal? To pull together the resources of local top education, business and civic leaders to put 55,000 more college degrees in the hands of our students by 2020.

Metro United Way’s role? Partner. And I’m excited to serve as co-chair for the College Culture Committee. Why? Because Metro United Way is committed to making sure our community’s children arrive ready to succeed in school AND graduate on time. This work lays the foundation our students need to make increasing the number of college degrees earned in our community by 55,000 a goal that we can all look forward to reaching.

Youth Education Success Summit

On Oct. 30 at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, Metro United Way provided a platform for 250 young people in our community, ages 11–20, to voice what it’s like to grow up and live in our community. They spoke directly to community leaders invested in their success while connecting with peers throughout the community to develop strategies to increase high school graduation rates. Let me tell you, they came up with some great ideas!

So now for the numbers…

I’m pleased to let you know that at this point, this year’s Metro United Way Community Campaign has raised $21.5 million! This number is very encouraging and, so far, indicates a positive trend in our community’s decision to give. This year we’ve asked our community to Give 110 percent — consider what you want to give, and then increase that amount by 10 percent — and our community has responded generously.

If you’ve given this year, thank you. If you haven’t, I hope that you’ll make your investment soon. As I said before, the work never stops because the need never stops. And because of the commitment of individuals like you, Metro United Way can continue to make our community a better place for all — now and in the future.

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