Did you see our billboards?
Our 2012 campaign chairs were sharing our message throughout the community, including on a billboard along busy First Avenue. We shot this fun video with Cedar Rapids Police to thank them. (Click here for our 2012 Thank You Homepage)
Video not playing? Try this transcript:
Officer pulls car over.
Officer into radio: “Dispatch, we got another one.”
Officers gets out of car and talks with driver. Billboard of Marc and Cathy is seen in the background.
Police officers pulled over dozens of motorists these past few months. Many slowed down to see Marc and Cathy Gullickson’s message. The 2012 campaign chairs have been sharing it on a billboard along busy First Avenue for months.
Even next year’s campaign chair, Ron Olson, was caught up in their message.
Thank you Marc and Cathy for advocating for United Way!
No actual drivers received tickets … (as far as we know.)
Special thanks to the Cedar Rapids Police Department
Lamar for donating the billboard space
Ron Olson, the 2013 campaign chair
Photo gallery from the shoot
How we unveiled the 2012 campaign total
Video not playing? Here’s a transcript:
As a community we are solving problems together. And with your help, we can make a difference. One dollar at a time, one volunteer hour at a time and one day at a time.
Companies, employees and community members all work together to help us improve the community.
It takes a community to make a difference and your support this year helped raise…..
2012 Campaign Celebration
Video not playing? Here’s a transcript:
Hi I’m Amanda and my son and I, Grant, are participants of Play & Learn that is sponsored and funded by United Way. I just don’t have enough good things to say about this program. It is wonderful. The best thing about it is that it gives us the opportunity to have Grant get the experience to have some social skills with other children his age. They go up to age five and Grant is two, and he’s not in daycare so he gets the chance to be around other kids, learn how to play, socialize and things that he wouldn’t get just being at home.
One of his favorite things is that there is a craft each time that is new to do. The most favorite thing he did was when they had color paints and they smelled like jello or kool-aid and they smelled good, we got to take the crafts home with us and there’s just so many things that he can do and play with there that we don’t have at home, like they set up corn tables that you can play with and, you know, I’m not going to have a bunch of corn at my house so he really thinks that that’s great, they have water tables, sand tables, there’s one where they have oats and you can take the containers and fill them and there’s just so many good things about that.
It’s also nice because at the end everybody picks up and it shows him that we work together and clean up, and then everybody goes and has a story time and sings songs and it’s a really great, great opportunity for him to be around other children and I like it because I get to get out and be around other mom’s so I just love the program and thank you United Way so much for providing the funding for it.
I started working with the Goodwill program in December 2011. At that time I was unemployed, mostly homeless and couch surfing. I had no transportation. With my Goodwill Works counselor, I developed my resume and averaged several online applications a week. I also pursued jobs in person on my own.
Goodwill Works enrolled me in forklift training and I completed the training and I received my certificate. I was hired at the Oakland Road Hy-Vee in April where I remain today, but only part-time. I did land a full-time, seasonal job at Construction Materials, Inc. while continuing to work at Hy-Vee. The job ended in October.
I was able to get an apartment in June. I also have been able to open a savings account and I’m currently saving to buy a new pair of glasses.
Without Goodwill Works, I honestly don’t know where I’d be today. I am extremely thankful to the United Way and the assistance the United Way has provided for me.
My name is Wayne Kirchoff. I’m 84 years old and I’ve been going to Milestones for 12 years. I was very depressed when I first contacted Milestones because of macular degeneration that took my work away, my driver’s license, my savings account, and they said they could help me. And they did. And they have wonderful service, nursing care, wonderful food, wonderful socializing, and great programming that keeps challenging you. So I’m looking forward to a little happier and longer life than I would have had without them, and I would like to thank United Way for funding a place like Milestones. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
My name is Alison Brumm and for the past five years I have volunteered with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program or VITA for short. VITA is a program coordinated by the Community Corrections Improvement Association, which is a partner agency of United Way and the program provides free tax preparation services to low income families in our community.
United Way not only provides funding for the VITA program, but they also play a key role by scheduling all the tax appointments through the United Way 2-1-1 line, which is really a lifesaver.
Last year, through the program, volunteers completed over 13,000 tax returns, and with that over 2 million dollars came back in refunds to low income families in our community. And although I think those statistics are impressive, I personally get to hear the stories firsthand from the people we’re helping and they’re so appreciative and grateful for the service and every time when I’m preparing tax returns inevitably somebody says, “You do this for free?” And we say, “Well yeah it’s a program that’s supported by United Way and we’re here to help.” They’re so grateful for the service.
By being a part of VITA I really seen what we can accomplish when community partners come together to support programs. We have United Way, we have non-profits and we have volunteers, and when we all come together we really can make a difference in our community. Thank you.
Lois Buntz, CEO:
A special thanks to the individuals who shared their stories tonight. That’s why United Way is here; we’re here for the community, your friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, and we’re here to help everyone, so thank you so much. Let’s give them a round of applause.
Well we want to keep this party moving and I think as all of you know, I like getting checks really, really a lot; it’s part of my job. Tonight we have a great announcement. We have had a wonderful supporter by the name of Kelly Mulford and his wife, Ann, who have been involved with the United Way for a long time. Kelly has been a long-time employee of Quaker Oats Pepsico, he was a loaned executive with us, and he was also a board member and he’s also one of the Shipping 20 Powerball winners.
So – - there he is. When we kicked off this last year for our campaign Kelly came up to me. He said, “I have a surprise for you.” Kelly’s here tonight with Ann to do a check presentation.
Thank you very much, but a real quick – - wow – - the “woo hoo” that you heard was for the community here. You guys do the great work. The folks that stood up earlier and shared their story, that’s what this is about. Annie and I thought of the United Way right away.
So anyway, a little emotional because yeah we’ve been involved with this United Way for a long time, now we’re going to be there the rest of our lives and on throughout the United Way needs. So anyway, thank you. Woo hoo!
Marc Gullickson, 2012 Campaign Chair:
Over 10 million dollars raised for the sixth year in a row. Thank you for your support. We couldn’t do it without you. Your dollars are an investment towards a better future. Thank you!
Cathy Gullickson, 2012 Campaign Chair:
I’m awfully proud to be a part of this community. But there is more to the story than the money. One of our goals this year was to add companies to the campaign. We had a goal of adding 25 new companies and with the help of the staff and the loaned executives Ron, Marc and I and everyone who worked at it, we were able to add 58 new companies.
And there’s more good news. There are other programs like Kids on Course, Retired and Senior Volunteers Program, the Youth Achievement Corp, and the Volunteer Generations Fund, and through these programs United Way also brought in another $670,635 to the community. And we also received $40,000 in in-kind gifts. When you put in volunteer hours as well, they were valued this year at 1.75 million dollars. So really if you add it up, the total raised by United Way this year was over 12.8 million dollars. What an accomplishment!
One of the things that we do as co-chair is find what’s called the vice-chair. That’s really not fair. You’re really adding another co-chair. In fact, we have tri-chairs in a sense as Cathy and I were there, but Ron was there. We were welded at the hip. When we couldn’t do a visit, he did it and vice-versa. It’s been great to have Ron Olson has as our co-chair this year. He’s been smart enough to recruit some folks to help him and he’s going to talk about it. But again, Ron Olson, great job. Thank you very much!
It’s my pleasure to hand off the infamous cup that is already engraved with Ron Olson’s name so he cannot back down.
I’ve got to tell you it was a very successful campaign. But there were challenges too. Marc and Cathy Gullickson met those challenges and went above and beyond as you heard with 58 new companies so let’s give them another round of applause.
And also tonight we would like to introduce the vice-chairs for the 2013 campaign who will be taking over in 2014—the centennial year for United Way—and the vice-chairs are Matt Evans and Jack Evans. Please stand up.
They’re going to do a great job. Jack is an old hand at this, or maybe I should say an experienced hand, Jack, but he ran the campaign in 1991. Looking forward to really working with him this year. In fact, we’re already up and running and had several meetings on our campaign to be coming up in 2013.
How many out in the audience have heard of the children’s book the Flat Stanley series? Oh quite a few. You know, know I had never heard of Flat Stanley and for those of you who hadn’t, Flat Stanley is a young man who I think the bulletin board falls on his head while he’s laying in bed one day and they end up – - Flat Stanley is sending him around the world. He can go under doors, go every place, people were taking their pictures with Flat Stanley.
So this year, the staff has come up with something very creative called “Flat Ron.” He actually had all black hair but then I said you better put a few grey hairs up there because it doesn’t really look like me. So Flat Ron is going to be turning up all over the place this year. He could be turning up at your place of employment; if I can’t make it to an appointment or Jack and Matt can’t, you’re going to see Flat Ron. In fact, those of you with Facebook pages, take a picture with Flat Ron and post it on your Facebook wall.
We’re really looking forward to 2013. The staff is great. We have a great group of volunteers and of course, all of you have made United Way what it is. We’re looking forward to a great 2013!
Thank you for coming tonight!