BCUW Raises more than $4.1 Million in 2021
Organization Raises More than $4.1 Million to Help People Struggling with Stability
GREEN BAY—Brown County United Way celebrated its 2021 year in review and focus on the future during its Annual Celebration event held via a virtual get-together on Wednesday, March 16. The theme of the event was Mission Possible: The United Way.
Highlights included a review of the campaign and community impact results, and Legacy and campaign award presentations.
Campaign cabinet chair Jeff Rafn, PhD, president of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, announced a successful community campaign that raised $4,153,049, an increase over 2020’s campaign total of $3,567,376.
“Together, we had a collective impact,” said Rafn in announcing the campaign total. “We raised a lot of money. But it really isn’t so much about the money. It was that we raised a lot of caring – caring for the people in our community. All this money is being spent in response to the needs of this community, strengthening our neighborhoods and making sure that everyone has the ability to be successful and lead a very good quality life. Thank you to everyone who helped achieve this wonderful financial total.”
Financial support from the community makes it possible for Brown County United Way to fulfill its mission of uniting people, ideas and resources in order to create community solutions that strengthen every person in Brown County. Studies have shown that pre-pandemic, more than one in three Brown County households struggled with basic needs. That number has since increased.
During the celebration, United Way staff members highlighted some of the organization’s work and accomplishments from the past year in its core pillars of health, education, financial wellbeing and community connection. In total, Brown County United Way invested $1,169,325 in these pillars, helping more than 16,000 people through program leadership and financial support. Highlights of the work include:
Grant funding to 22 local nonprofit programs: These system-of-care grants provide direct funding to local agencies that provide individuals and families with assistance in the United Way’s four pillars.
Neighborhood Partnership Grant funding: In 2021, Brown County United Way invested a little more than $53,000 in Neighborhood Partnership Grants, working with existing and new partners to strengthen four near eastside Green Bay neighborhoods. The investments funded security lighting for two parks, brought to life the downtown dining room project, neighborhood socials, resident gardens, and neighborhood surveys.
Emergency Response Fund grants: These funds were used to meet people’s immediate needs, support frontline workers, and help nonprofit organizations stay open, largely in response to COVID-19.
Three middle school classroom project grants through Character Playbook: Students from the Green Bay Area Public School district and Ashwaubenon School district were awarded mini grants for projects like a mindfulness room, a multicultural mural and a display of multicultural flags that made all students feel represented and included.
Year of Action volunteer opportunities: Brown County United Way led four volunteer initiatives and helped facilitate many more including a Spring Trash Bash, Make a Difference Day, Day of Caring, serving meals at New Community Shelter, and in partnership with the Greater Green Bay Labor Council hosting both a diaper drive and blanket drive.
As an advocate for the needs of the community, Brown County United Way’s Advocacy Council focused on bringing awareness to affording housing, mental health parity, childcare and transportation.
Another highlight of the past year was the recent announcement of Brown County United Way being named the recipient of a $999,737 Wisconsin Equitable Recovery Grant to support a new Mobile Resources Connector Initiative. The initiative will enable Brown County United Way and its partnering agencies to bring services to individuals and families where they live and work instead of having them always come to a centralized office or building. This will be done by creating mobile services space in a passenger van, an RV and a semi-truck and trailer. The vehicles will be staffed by many community agencies providing services year-round like early childhood and youth supports, mental health counseling, job assistance and connection to housing and shelter.
“We have been a vital catalyst for change for nearly 100 years,” said Robyn Davis, Brown County United Way president and CEO. “In 2017 when I became president and CEO, the mission seemed daunting: strategically plan for our future in a way that would allow us to be agile and responsive to the emerging needs of our community. We didn’t have all the answers and we certainly didn’t anticipate some of the challenges we would face along the way. Yet we knew the mission was possible and that it would bring us closer to achieving the vision of an inclusive community where all individuals can experience optimal health, education, financial wellbeing and community connection. Today we celebrated the work of our Possible Mission Force, the business community, our many community partners and the legion of volunteers who are making our Mission Possible, The United Way.”
Several Legacy and campaign awards were also presented during the celebration event:
- R.C. Nelson Award: Adam Jackson of Humana
- W. Heraly MacDonald Award: Laurie Riedy Timmerman, retired from Associated Bank
- Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership Award: Robin Scott of We All Rise African American Center
- Community Impact Award: The Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Green Bay Packers for their combined efforts with Brown County United Way in supporting people adversely affected by COVID-19
- George F. Kress Award: Bergstrom Automotive
- Meritorious Service Award: Procter & Gamble
The winner of the United Way Car Sweepstakes featuring a 2021 Subaru Crosstrek donated by Bergstrom Automotive was Phil Nelson of Green Bay.
About Brown County United Way: Founded in 1925, Brown County United Way is a center for community-based strategies. Through direct fundraising, grant making, community mobilization, and advocacy, Brown County United Way leverages all of its organizational resources and deep local partnerships to advance targeted community solutions. With the help of more than 500 community volunteers from all community sectors, Brown County United Way is dedicated to finding solutions to the community’s most pressing human-services issues.