Press Releases: September 17, 2013

United Way of Greater Houston Kicks Off Annual Campaign By Asking "What Does A Better Community Need?"

United Way of Greater Houston Kicks Off Annual Campaign

More than 1,000 Houstonians gather to cheer start of community’s largest annual campaign

HOUSTON (Sept. 17, 2013) – More than 1,000 Houstonians gathered at Jones Hall to kick off the annual campaign for the United Way of Greater Houston and celebrate what the organization does to improve lives in our community. The energized crowd of campaign volunteers, representing workplaces throughout the local area, gathered for breakfast at Jones Hall where this year’s campaign chair, Lynne Liberato, partner at Haynes and Boone, announced the sky-high goal of $84 million. Contributions to the 2013-14 United Way campaign ensure services that touch close to one of every two lives in our community.

Touching on some of the many reasons why she supports the United Way, Liberato outlined the needs in our community, shared her vision for this year’s campaign and delivered a powerful message about the difference United Way makes for all of us.

“The work the United Way does in this community is far reaching and creates lasting change for the better by addressing key social issues such as family financial stability and early childhood education, ” said Liberato. “It’s crucial for everyone here today to share the message of United Way’s impact on our community and, most importantly, encourage others to give generously to help their neighbors.”

Liberato also shared some highlights of the organization’s initiatives including the success of United Way THRIVE, which helps low-income families achieve real and lasting financial security by acquiring skills and education, obtaining better jobs, developing good financial habits and building savings.

Anna Babin, president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Houston, added, “This United Way is what it is today because of the dedication, the compassion and the heart of the wonderful volunteers, campaigners and donors who have supported our mission and work over the last 90 years. The help and hope you create today will result in brighter futures tomorrow.”

The well-attended kickoff was hosted by United Way’s Caring Champions: Spectra Energy, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Bank of America, CenterPoint Energy, National Oilwell Varco, Inc., Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises LLC, WorleyParsons, Enbridge, Haynes and Boone, LLP, and LyondellBasell.

Houston Texans left tackle Duane Brown joined the crowd to encourage guests to get involved and read, tutor or mentor a child to ensure the academic success of Houston’s kids. Brown talked about the first-year success of United Way’s Reading Together Initiative that pairs volunteer readers and mentors to help ensure our kids are reading proficiently by the time they enter fourth grade.

The kickoff also energized employees for the 22nd annual United Way Days of Caring, in which 10,000 employees from more than 100 companies complete over 600 service projects in the Houston area throughout the year. This opportunity gives them a firsthand look at the greatest needs in our community and how United Way of Greater Houston is working to meet those needs. Days of Caring service projects range from painting and landscaping to interacting with clients to building play areas.

About United Way of Greater Houston
For 90 years, United Way of Greater Houston has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives, tackling key community social issues and making a lasting difference. United Way of Greater Houston touches close to one of every two lives in the Bay Area, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery and Waller counties. United Way focuses on strengthening our community by developing children and youth to their full potential, creating strong families and safe neighborhoods, sustaining senior independence and rebuilding people’s lives. United Way of Greater Houston is the best way to make the biggest difference in our community. For information, please visit,

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