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Saying "THANK YOU!" During National Volunteer Week | Business

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Saying "THANK YOU!" During National Volunteer Week
Saying "THANK YOU!" During National Volunteer Week

The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County today gathered more than 100 volunteers who have helped with the organization’s Campaign, community investments, and other activities for one simple purpose: to say thank you.  The breakfast at Templeton Landing was held to acknowledge the dedication of volunteers during National Volunteer Week, an annual commemorative week that recognizes the importance of volunteer service in communities across the country.

Michael Weiner, United Way president, welcomed the assembled volunteers and noted that their efforts, which are individually significant, are even more impressive when taken as a whole.  “Whether you are one of our 30 Board members, or one of the 800 Campaign Coordinators whose efforts contributed to the success of our campaign, you make a difference,” he said.  “Whether you gave one of the more than 200 presentations that inspired others to make their contribution, or reviewed one of the nearly 150 applications for program funding this year, you are a testament to the power of action for the greater good in transforming quality of life in this community.”

Mr. Weiner went on to outline the scope of community volunteer efforts facilitated through United Way, including:

  • nearly 750 participants from 38 companies donating more than 2,500 hours of service through the Business Meets Community initiative;
  • 509 high school students, 79 community agencies and 157 volunteer projects registered on UGive.org, a unique web-based volunteer matching resource for young people;
  • 1,048 hours of volunteer service donated by 262 volunteers from 63 families during the 2010 Family Volunteer Day; and
  • Nearly 100,000 volunteers over the past 18 years for the annual United Way Day of Caring, who together donated almost 400,000 hours of service during the one-day event, scheduled this year for August 17.

Bob Zak, CEO of Merchants Insurance and United Way Board Chair, offered special thanks to the organization’s Campaign Chair, Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive for National Grid, and to Tim Doolittle, executive director of the Erie County Workforce Development Consortium, who served as vice chair.  Under their leadership, the 2010 United Way Campaign raised $13,303,633, topping last year’s result for the first time since 2001.  “Your extraordinary passion and commitment helped inspire the whole community to step up and make a difference,” Zak said.  “We exceeded last year’s amount raised, for the first time in a decade.  Some might call that a data point; I call it the beginning of a trend.”

Offering his own heartfelt remarks, Elsenbeck, turned the thanks back to the assembled volunteers and announced that he will serve as chair for a second year.  “When I have been out speaking in the community, so many people have thanked me for the good work of the United Way.  They aren’t really thanking me – they are thanking you, because you raised your hand to help as a volunteer,” he said.  “Because this work is important to you, and to our community, and to say thank you to all of you, I am raising my hand to serve again this year.”



The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County brings people, organizations, and resources together to improve community well being.  Through program funding, community collaborations and strategic initiatives in the areas of Education, Income, and Health and Wellness, United Way helps children reach their full potential, adults achieve financial self-sufficiency, and all people live in safe environments and achieve good health.  For more information, visit www.uwbec.org.

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