David Steward, founder and chairman of World Wide Technology; Kathy Osborn, president and CEO of the Regional Business Council; Penny Pennington, managing partner of Edward Jones; and Warner Baxter, chairman, president, and CEO of Ameren Corp., will serve as spokespersons for United Way of Greater St. Louis’s annual campaign this year.
“Money that is generously donated to our United Way is incredibly vital to the health, well-being, and livelihood of individuals and families across our community,” said Steward (top right). “United Way works to create a safe and healthy home for everyone in our community. As our region and neighbors face unprecedented challenges and impacts amid the COVID-19 crisis and the call for racial equity, our support of United Way and its work is more critical than ever.”
“As a longtime supporter and board member of United Way, I’ve had the opportunity to see and hear stories of those who’ve been helped through United Way,” said Osborn (bottom left). “This year it’s more important than ever that those in our community who can support this work step up and continue to do so. I look forward to helping rally the community to do this so that our neighbors have the support they need to lead their best possible lives.”
United Way of Greater St. Louis supports over 1 million people in 16 counties throughout Missouri and Illinois to create strong and healthy communities. Additionally, United Way manages 2-1-1, a free and confidential helpline that connects people to resources and services. Since March 12, 2-1-1 has received nearly 43,000 calls, compared to 18,800 for that same time period in 2019.
“The St. Louis region is multifaceted; we face complex yet interrelated needs that no one agency, program, or entity can fix alone,” said Pennington (bottom right). “United Way leads our community in supporting and maintaining our region’s safety net nonprofits to help keep our neighbors whole. I’m honored to stand with these three other leaders in support of United Way and the important work it does for our region.”
“Through United Way, thousands of people in our community receive vital resources, like food, shelter, mentorship for young people, job training, and so much more,” said Baxter (top left). “This support is possible thanks to the generosity of local businesses and caring individuals throughout our region. As a native St. Louisan, for decades I have witnessed United Way exhibit the real strength of the St. Louis region – people joining together to make lasting change for those in need and our communities.”
United Way’s Board Chair Michael Moehn noted how unique of a situation it is to have four key leaders unite to lead the campaign in this way. “Certainly, this year is unprecedented in all we do, and this calls for an unprecedented approach in rallying the community behind United Way. Having leadership from four major St. Louis entities join together in this way will help to align our local resources and create our most successful path forward.”
United Way’s annual campaign runs in the fall from September through mid-November. The dollars raised through campaign support 167 Safety Net agencies that help people through five impact areas: provide food and shelter, establish financial stability, foster learning, improve health, and strengthen communities. View the list of Safety Net agencies here.
“We are incredibly thankful for the strong support and commitment of these four pillars of our community,” noted Michelle Tucker, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis. “Dave, Kathy, Penny, and Warner are such passionate and dedicated leaders, and all have been longtime supporters of United Way. This year will require collective and historical fundraising efforts to help respond to the complex challenges across our St. Louis region. We are thankful to have these tremendous leaders champion our campaign.”
Recently, United Way has been responding to the immediate and long-term needs of the community due to COVID-19 and its economic impacts. So far, United Way has invested more than $1.2 million into nonprofits throughout the St. Louis region that are providing access to food, medicine and personal care items; rent, mortgage and utility assistance; childcare for essential workers; and mental health support.