Press Releases: December 21, 2020

During Time of Unprecedented Community Need, Nancy and Rich Kinder Make $1 Million Gift

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During Time of Unprecedented Community Need, Nancy and Rich Kinder Make $1 Million Gift to United Way of Greater Houston Annual Campaign

HOUSTON (December 21, 2020) – United Way of Greater Houston today announces a $1 million gift from philanthropists Rich and Nancy Kinder to support United Way’s work at a time of unprecedented need in the Greater Houston community. The ongoing impact of the pandemic on the local economy has raised unemployment, drained household finances and strained non-profit basic needs resources.

The Kinders’ generous gift will support United Way’s work in providing basic needs for those in crisis such as food, utility and rental assistance, medications and healthcare support. Beyond basic needs, the funds will support comprehensive United Way services that help struggling families regain their financial footing and find their pathway to financial stability and sustainability. These services include job training and certification, job placement, financial coaching, child care, mental health services and more. Services are provided through a collaborative model known as United Way THRIVE, which involves more than 20 nonprofits, plus employers, community colleges, government agencies and others in helping families clear away the barriers to their success. 

“We are grateful to the Kinders for their extraordinary generosity and their continued trust and confidence in the work of United Way,” said Amanda McMillian, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Houston. “The Kinders are visionary leaders who invest in our local community to create a better quality of life for all and we have the highest admiration for the way they lead by example. We sincerely hope others who are able will join them in making a gift to the United Way campaign at this unprecedented time of need in our community.” 

Helping struggling families achieve financial stability is at the center of United Way’s Second Century Vision, which is responding to the 47% of families in the four-county Greater Houston area who, even before the pandemic, were struggling to afford basic necessities, as reported in the most recent United Way ALICE Report. ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) data reports the numbers of households in our community whose incomes are not sufficient to cover monthly basic needs such as food, housing, child care, transportation and health care. United Way’s Second Century Vision is building upon more than a decade of United Way THRIVE experience, which helped over 61,000 families last year alone with services to support them on their path to a more sustainable financial future.

The Kinders have been longtime donors to United Way of Greater Houston and this is the second consecutive year for the Kinders to make a $1 million gift, the Luminary Leadership Giving level, to United Way’s annual campaign. The $1 million Luminary Giving level was established last year to honor the Kinders’ outstanding generosity. 

“Improving the quality of life for everyone in our community is an important mission we share with United Way,” said Nancy Kinder, president and CEO of the Kinder Foundation. “We support the United Way of Greater Houston’s strategic vision because we recognize the life-changing difference this work can make for families and individuals who need assistance, which is needed now more than ever.” 

McMillian added that, given the size of the need, it takes everyone working together to transform lives and create lasting change in our community. That’s why the annual United Way community campaign reaches out to workplaces and individuals across the four-county Greater Houston area and every gift, at every level, helps to lift up the community by providing services to those in need. 

The $1 million Luminary Leadership Giving level is part of the United Way of Greater Houston’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society, a group of generous individuals, currently numbering more than 700, who make gifts of $10,000 or more annually to United Way of Greater Houston. The group contributed more than $17 million to United Way last year. For more information on leadership giving at United Way of Greater Houston, visit http://www.unitedwayhouston.org/donors.

About United Way of Greater Houston 
For nearly 100 years, United Way of Greater Houston has brought together diverse partners and approaches to address the complex challenges holding people back. We are a driving force for good that connects our neighbors with opportunities to thrive. We help our neighbors achieve financial stability.  We provide services that support the physical and behavioral health of families and youth along with educational services that expand their skills and horizons.  We provide a safety net that catches the most vulnerable. We manage every donation with care to make the greatest impact across the four-county region of Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery and Waller counties. We connect neighbors with help 24/7 through our 211 Texas / United Way HELPLINE. For more information, please visit, http://www.unitedwayhouston.org.

About the Kinder Foundation 
The Kinder Foundation, a family foundation established in 1997 by Rich and Nancy Kinder of Houston, Texas, provides transformational grants that impact urban green space, education, and quality of life. More at http://www.kinderfoundation.org.

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