United Way of SWM Revving Up Campaign Season With Incentives

The vast majority of donors to the United Way of Southwest Michigan give to the organization out of the goodness of their heart in a bid to make a difference in Michigan’s Great Southwest. Nevertheless, the United Way team knows that a little incentive can go a long way toward helping increase the level of giving at a time when it is needed most. That’s why they are delighted to tell of both a returning incentive and a brand new one being rolled out for the new campaign season underway.

You may recall that back in February, Michael Lafrenz turned the key over in a subcompact car at Tyler Automotive in Stevensville, becoming the third winner in United Way of Southwest Michigan’s annual car giveaway. While they are ready to roll a fourth season in that realm, United Way is also revving up the fun by adding a new incentive thanks to I&M.

Returning United Way donors will have the opportunity to Pay-It-Forward! Utilizing a $10,000 gift from United Way’s “Pay It Forward” sponsor, Indiana Michigan Power, 10 lucky donors will be randomly selected to give $1,000 to the nonprofit of their choice.

To qualify, returning donors must give more or the same as their gift in 2019. If returning donors increase their gift by 10-percent or more from their 2019 gift, they will be entered in the drawing twice. The maximum is 2 entries per person. The 10 finalists will be randomly selected on February 1, 2021. The winners will have until February 15, 2021 to choose their desired nonprofit.

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Joel Gebbie, Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer of AEP’s Cook Nuclear Plant, says, “Paying it forward creates that chain reaction where everybody wins. We want to reward those individuals who have given so generously to United Way over the years, by allowing them to give to others.”

Meanwhile, United Way and Tyler Automotive will again be giving away a car this season. This incentive will be for NEW donors who give $156, which equates to roughly $3 per week. For every additional $100 contributed, donors receive an additional entry into the drawing. Ten finalists will be revealed on January 26, 2021, with one lucky person winning a two-year lease on a subcompact vehicle on February 16, 2021.

Anna Murphy, President of United Way, says, “We’re excited to be partnering with Tyler Automotive for a fourth year in a row to help someone win a car. And we’re just as excited to be adding the “Pay it Forward” incentive to this year’s campaign. We appreciate Indiana Michigan Power in helping make this happen.” Murphy adds, “We may be revealing our winners early next year, but we know that the community is the big winner in the end. The greater the participation, the more impact we’ll create for families in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties.”

United Way is all about the impact. A simple gift of $3 a week for a year can make a big difference! It provides one of the following:

  • 34 meals for someone dealing with food insecurity.
  • 2 months of support to help a young child learn to read.
  • 1 free book for a child every month for 5 years.
  • School supplies for 8 kids to start the school year.
  • Support for 2 individuals to address their mental health.
  • 1 year of a physical activity/nutrition program for a school-age youth.

Chris Tyler, owner of Tyler Automotive, says: “It’s about making a difference in the community. That’s what United Way is all about. And they’ve been making a difference for a very long time in Southwest Michigan. The car giveaway creates a very fun incentive, but it’s the impact in the community that matters most to us at Tyler Automotive.”

For more information on how you can Win A Car or Pay It Forward, visit here: http://uwsm.org

Toby Thomas, President and Chief Operating Officer of Indiana Michigan Power, says, “At Indiana Michigan Power, helping those we serve is what we do. Especially during these challenging times, the assistance provided by United Way is even more critical to the health and well-being of the people of Southwest Michigan.” He adds, “We encourage those who have given in the past to United Way to continue to do so, and those who have not to consider giving today to help those in need in our community.”

United Way of Southwest Michigan fights for the Health, Education, and Financial Stability of every person in every community. They have the influence and relationships to make sustainable change a reality. By harnessing resources from corporate, nonprofit, and public partners, they provide immediate assistance to the most vulnerable populations in our midst, while addressing the root causes of the community’s longstanding challenges and changing lives for the better. To join the fight—through giving, advocacy, and volunteering—visit www.uwsm.org.