GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Employees at the Grand Rapids-based retailer Meijer raised $3 million for the 2012 United Way Workforce Campaign for the second year in a row. The workforce campaign aims to improve the lives of those in need by meeting critical needs of the community.
"Thanks to the continued generosity of our team members, we are able to help those in need and support the community through the United Way," co-chairman Hank Meijer said. "Since my father and grandfather came to Grand Rapids more than 60 years ago, the United Way has been at the heart of how we think of supporting our friends and neighbors and improving the health and well-being of our community."
Meijer, a pioneer of the one-stop shopping concept, operates 199 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. Every year, Meijer extends an opportunity to its 60,000 team members to support the United Way campaign by making a pledge. Meijer collects the pledges after the three-week campaign, and distributes the donations to 78 individual United Way organizations throughout its communities through weekly payroll deductions, beginning January 1.
"What's great about this campaign is that it gives Meijer team members an opportunity to help their neighbors, because all the money raised stays within their local communities," said Stacie Behler, VP of public affairs and corporate giving.
Each partnering United Way distributes the contributions to a variety of local agencies and programs to address critical needs. For example, the Heart of West Michigan United Way set a campaign goal of more than $12 million to support their efforts in Kent County.
"Achieving our financial goals is what enables us to achieve our bold community goals of supporting a quality education, with enough income to support a family, and good health," Heart of West Michigan United Way president and CEO Maureen Noe said. "There is strength in numbers, and by working as a team, we're all heading in the same direction and carrying the same message: Please give to United Way and when you do, let others know why."