The passion, commitment and hard work United Way donors and volunteers show in Union County doesn’t go unnoticed.


Continuing an annual tradition, United Way celebrated its top Union County supporters on March 27 with an appreciation breakfast and awards ceremony, hosted at Atrium Health Union’s Women and Children’s Center in Monroe.


Jack Hargett, the 2018 Union County United Way Board chair, thanked companies, sponsors, campaign chairs and community impact volunteers for their dedication, leadership and support that make it possible for United Way to continue having a positive impact on the community.


“I think we can all agree that spending money is easy. Investing it wisely and strategically is a bit more of a challenge,” Hargett said. “Local volunteers commit hundreds of hours to ensure every dollar contributed to United Way is invested wisely for the betterment of our community.”


Union County’s top 10 United Way contributors received special recognition at the breakfast:


  • ATI Specialty Materials
  • Atrium Health Union
  • Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, Plastics Division
  • City of Monroe
  • Collins Aerospace
  • Publix
  • Tyson Foods
  • Union County Government
  • Union County Public Schools
  • Wingate University


Wingate University also was honored with the 2018 Top Campaign trophy. The university has seen significant United Way campaign increases in the last three campaigns, with a 182 percent increase in total campaign dollars since 2015.


“We are so very grateful to these organizations for the positive impact they and their employees make on our community through the United Way campaign,” said Helen Thomas, chair for the 2018 United Way campaign in Union County. “Every single person and every single effort when combined collectively is the key to making a lasting impact in our community.”


Other outstanding contribution recognitions included:


  • AFL Network Services
  • Central Academy of Technology & Arts
  • City of Monroe Police Department
  • City of Monroe Water Resources Department
  • Consolidated Metco Inc.
  • First Citizens Bank
  • Forest Hills High School
  • Monroe Middle School
  • Piedmont High School
  • Piedmont Natural Gas
  • QuikTrip
  • RCS Incorporated
  • Stallings Elementary School
  • State Utility Contractors Inc.
  • Union County Central Administration
  • Union County Division of Social Services
  • Unionville Elementary School
  • UPS-Monroe
  • Weddington High School
  • Wesley Chapel Elementary School


Additionally, the appreciation breakfast included recognition of the annual Books and Brackets Reading Challenge held by Union County Public Schools. For several weeks, all third and fourth graders in the school system enjoy reading as many books as they can for the challenge, which is patterned after the March Madness basketball competition. Schools that advance to the Elite Eight are invited to a celebration at Wingate University, where the winning school is revealed.


“United Way is thrilled to partner with the school system for this event because it speaks volumes to the importance of literacy,” Hargett said. “Providing the tools and fun incentives to help all children meet their third-grade reading goals lays a strong foundation for their future success.”


The appreciation breakfast also highlighted the 26th annual United Way Union County Day of Caring held on August 25, 2018. More than 1,100 volunteers served at 121 project sites, lending a hand at the homes of seniors and disabled residents and helping neighbors in need across Union County.


“Identifying community issues and finding solutions is what United Way is all about,” said Denise White, the incoming Union County United Way Board chair. “Now more than ever, we see the need to continue building a strong United Way that leads the way in creating opportunity for all while making lasting changes in our community.”


View more photos from the annual appreciation breakfast here.


We can do more together! See how you can give back to the community here.