The United Way of Greater St. Louis - Southwest Division began in 1922 and was organized by volunteers to raise money to help non-profits. Today, the United Way is the lifeblood of many non-profit organizations.
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United Way Focus
United Way of Greater St. Louis mobilizes the community with one goal in mind – helping people live their best possible lives.
Who benefits? United Way of Greater St. Louis serves 16 counties in Illinois and Missouri and helps 1 in 3 local people. The United Way supports health and human service agencies in an effort to strengthen the St. Louis region through education, health, basic needs and financial stability. The Southwest Illinois Division of United Way annually helps more than 180,000 people in Madison, Macoupin, Jersey, Greene and Calhoun counties and supports 38 local health and human service organizations.
Volunteers Oversee United Way
United Way of Greater St. Louis is a volunteer-directed organization, governed by a local volunteer board of directors that represents every sector and region that United Way serves.
• Orvin Kimbrough serves as the president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis
• Mike DeCola, CEO of HBM Holdings, currently serves as board chair for United Way of Greater St. Louis’ Board of Directors
• Maura Wuellner serves as the director of United Way of Greater St. Louis – Southwest Illinois Division
• Jay Korte, of the Korte Company is the incoming board chair for the Southwest Illinois Division Auxiliary Board; JoAnn Barton, senior vice president of trust and investments of TheBANK of Edwardsville, served as board chair for 2016 and 2017.
Volunteer, Employee Involvement
• United Way of Greater St. Louis has 155 employees that serve the 16-county service area
• Nearly 300 business and community leaders serve on United Way’s board of directors, including 50 local volunteers who serve on the Southwest Illinois Division Auxiliary Board
• More than 400 local volunteers who live and work in our region serve on United Way’s allocations panels, participating in a 7-month process to ensure that funds are distributed to member agencies and programs fairly, objectively and with great consideration for their best use.
• Thousands of local people serve as volunteers during United Way’s community campaign, leading efforts within their own organization or business to help raise money and motivate their colleagues and friends to participate in the campaign.
• United Way’s local Volunteer Center annually connects thousands of individuals and families to meaningful volunteer opportunities throughout the region to strengthen local nonprofits and help our neighbors.
Greatest Achievements in 2017
• In 2017, the community raised $75.65 million through United Way’s community campaign. United Way’s Southwest Illinois Division raised $1.75 million for the campaign.
• United Way of Greater St. Louis – Southwest Illinois Division’s third annual Power of the Purse fundraising event raised nearly $19,000 to help local people.
• United Way 2-1-1, a free service connecting residents to agencies and resources near them to help them with a wide range of needs like shelter, child care and disaster aid, celebrated its 10th anniversary of helping local people. So far in 2017, United Way 2-1-1 has received more than 7,600 requests for assistance from people in Calhoun, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin and Madison counties.
• United Way of Greater St. Louis - Southwest Illinois Division awarded Collinsville-based Got Your Six Support Dogs a $5,000 one-time grant to support veterans struggling with PTSD.
• Through United Way of Greater St. Louis – Southwest Illinois Division, the local community donated more than 15,000 pounds of nonperishable food for eight Riverbend food pantries.
• In 2016, United Way’s Community Christmas program in the Riverbend collected more than 32,000 items and non-perishable food for local nonprofits to distribute to families in need during the holiday season. This year, the program is partnering with many local businesses, schools and organizations to again host a successful Community Christmas drive to help local people. In July, Freer Auto Body’s annual Christmas in July event raised a record $40,000 for this year’s program.
Employees and Volunteers Devote Time and Talent
"There are so many wonderful volunteers who support and give their time and talent to United Way and the Southwest Illinois Division, ensuring that we are able to continue helping people and strengthening our community. We are so thankful for JoAnn Barton, senior vice president of trust and investments of TheBANK of Edwardsville, who has served as the board chair of the Auxiliary Board of the Southwest Illinois Division for the past two years, as well as the dozens of other leaders who serve on our auxiliary board. We are thankful and excited for Jay Korte of the Korte Company, to serve as the auxiliary board chair in 2018. We are thankful for Cindy Smalley, director of marketing and communications of Cope Plastic, who served as United Way of Greater St. Louis – Southwest Illinois Division’s 2017 campaign chair and led another successful campaign, alongside many campaign team members. Thank you to Martha Morse of 1st MidAmerica Credit Union who has served as chair of our Community Christmas program for two years now and to Freer Auto Body and the Freer family for their support of Community Christmas." - the United Way Board said.
United Way of Greater St. Louis - Southwest Illinois Division was sponsored by Alton Memorial Hospital for the Charity Countdown to Christmas, visit For more information about United Way of Greater St. Louis – Southwest Illinois Division or to find out how you can get involved or donate, visit www. helpingpeople.org
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