Ron Olson Announces 2013 Challenge Grant

Campaign Chair Ron Olson, president of Paulson Electric, explains this year’s challenge grant in the video below.

For more go here.

Video not playing? Try the transcript below:

Ron Olson Talks about 2013 United Way Challenge Grant at Kickoff eventRon Olson:

As we mentioned, we made over 60 calls on CEOs of Companies this year—Jack and Matt and I—and what we emphasized was really the need in Cedar Rapids.

For instance:

  • 18,924 youth were not prepared for school, work or life.
  • 14,000 households can’t afford basic needs. That includes food, shelter and transportation.
  • 31,628 low income women need affordable healthcare services.

As you can see, there is a great need. One way we are addressing this this year, is with our challenge grant. And these groups have come together this year to provide a $55,000 challenge grant to the community. The lead gift was offered by a group called Fuse. The Fuse group is union electricians (IBEW 405) and the local electrical contractors, but we also have Built by Pros, another construction group, the Building Trades, Sheet Metal Contractors, Sheet Metal Union, Hawkeye Labor Council, Teamsters, Machinists and Local 110, which is the Quaker Union. Some of those folks couldn’t be with us today because there is an organization (Iowa Federation of Labor) meeting in Des Moines, or we would have asked them to be here today.

That’s a $55,000 challenge grant, and what’s that going to do is challenge us to get new donors. If you contribute $1 a week—$52 a year—as a new donor, they will match that with this challenge grant. If you step up to that $1 a week, or $52, that challenge grant will match that.

Also, we have a Labor Leadership Society and if new donors join that, this will be matched also by the challenge grant. So that’s one way that we’re going to help meet those needs this year.

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