United Way launches 2020 drive

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The United Way of Greater Rochester on Thursday kicked off its 2020 campaign, introducing Zwiegles Inc. CEO Julie Camardo as the annual fund drive’s chair.

“I am excited to work with other local businesses to help propel United Way and our community into the future,” Camardo said, addressing some 250 at a morning event at the Rochester Museum & Science Center’s Strasenburgh Planetarium.

Donating as individuals and through their employers, area residents as well local businesses, foundations and other organizations last year contributed a total of $34.4 million to United Way, putting the 2019 campaign $4.4 million ahead of the charity’s 2018 drive. The United Way aims to top the 2019 goal this year.

Through its Community Impact Fund, United Way supports scores of area nonprofit social service agencies ranging from the local chapter of the American Red Cross and the Bivona Child Advocacy Center to Meals on Wheel and the YWCA. 

Donors can earmark gifts to go to a specific agency or simply donate to the general Community Impact Fund. A complete list United Way-funded agencies is available here.

For the third year in a row, ESL Federal Credit Union has promised to match up to $500,000 in Community Impact Fund donations, potentially putting its three-year donation total at $1.5 million. In October, the ESL Charitable Foundation gave $5 million, the largest gift ever given to the United Way. The grant aims to address barriers related to poverty and improving quality of life.

Will Astor is Rochester Beacon senior writer.

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