(Seguin) -- The Guadalupe County United Way is even more "united" as the various organizations it serves recently gathered together in downtown Seguin to help publicly launch this new year of giving.
Among those thanking the United Way for its continued effort to support local non-profits was Seguin Mayor Don Keil. Keil says by the community and businesses giving to the United Way, a number of groups in Seguin are able to operate their programs.
"Thank you all for those of you who are people who are giving and with your companies and arranging all these wonderful gifts to these wonderful groups -- 41 groups, I believe, that are going to be receiving United Way funds this year. The government can't do everything for everybody. It has to be done by the community itself at large in order to make all these wonderful things happen to people. We've got to help one another. That's a big, big part of being an American and being a part of this real town we call Seguin," said Keil.
The United Way is also extended throughout Guadalupe County and supports all of its eligible groups as well.
Sharing his appreciation for the local United Way was Guadalupe County Commissioner Greg Seidenberger. Seidenberger says he hopes to see even more people give during this year's campaign.
"Our future is bright because we are united and we care because we give through United Way. Thank you for all that you do for the agencies that support these people and thank you United Way for being a part of this community that we can all make a difference," said Seidenberger.
Invited to speak on behalf of the corporate side of the United Way was Minigrip General Manager Garth Bielke. Minigrip, for years, has served as the single largest contributor for the local United Way office. Bielke says this year, he challenges other businesses both big and small to also be a part of funding the community's non-profits.
"Minigrip is all in on United Way. We are all in. That hasn't always been the case. About 12 years ago, we sat down as a management team and we were kind of looking at the direction we were going about giving to the community. We really weren't satisfied with it. So we started exploring how to best spend the money that our employees were donating, we were raising and we were matching as a company and we had two criteria. The first criteria was, it had to do the most good for the community, touch those people. The second criteria we had was it had to help our employees as well. As we looked and we looked at a lot of agencies and we looked at stuff, we kept coming back to United Way because they helped everybody in the last 12 years. We're right at $1 million of donating to United Way and that's been through employee contributions. We typically have over 90 percent of our employees that give at least a dollar week in their paycheck which is outstanding. We match those funds and we raise money and we give it to United Way," said Bielke.
In 2018, the number of funded agencies will increase from 38 to 41. Total funding is also expected to increase from $219,300 to $241,545.
Some of the partner agencies benefiting from the funds will include Guadalupe County Children's Advocacy Center, Guadalupe Valley Christian Counseling Center, Guadalupe Valley Habitat for Humanity, DARE, Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary and the Guadalupe County 4-H Council.
Donations to the United Way Campaign can be made online at www.guadalupeunitedway.org
or by calling 830-372-9009. Inquiries about being a part of the collection drive can also be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org