United Way 2014 campaign in high gear

GENESEE COUNTY — Officials with the United Way of Genesee County kicked off the 2014 campaign on Tuesday with an emphasis on helping more than 50,000 men, women and children in the county.

United Way officials are hoping to raise and leverage funds to support 41 programs in Genesee County, said Jamie Gaskin, CEO of the United Way of Genesee County. Last year, the local United Way’s total community impact was over $9.2 million in donations, grants and designated gifts.

“United Way volunteers and staff, along with various community members are working to create solutions to ensure positive results for the community, focusing on four key areas: Education, Health, Financial Stability and Basic Needs,” Gaskin said.

One program that is getting a boost from the United Way is the Flint Food Works Culinary Incubator program, which is operated by the Flint Farmers’ Market. Gaskin presented Flint Food Works with a check for $10,000 during the campaign kickoff at the market. The money will allow the incubator to help local businesses grow and employ local people.

The 2014 campaign is being led by Robert Gaydos, plant manager with GM’s Customer Care & Aftersales Flint Processing Center.

“General Motors and the UAW are committed to the Flint area and Genesee County and our support of the United Way is one example of that effort,” Gaydos said during the kickoff event.

One of the higher profile fund-raising drives involves raffling off a Flint Assembly-built light-duty Chevrolet Silverado pickup, Gaydos said. The United Way hopes to sell 3,000 tickets for $20 each and announce the winner at the UAW-GM United Way dinner on Oct. 11. Tickets may be purchased from Teresa McGinnis, the UAW Liaison with the United Way, at 810-762-5831.

“This is just one of many different initiatives companies, unions and organizations will engage in during the campaign to raise funds for the United Way, which is the largest charity brand in the world,” Gaydos added.

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