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United Way of Greater St. Louis Celebrates 100 Years of Service

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In 1922, St. Louis business leaders came together looking to usher in a new era of charitable giving through offering one gift of support that would benefit multiple nonprofits. Their Community Fund campaign produced $1million for 40 different nonprofit organizations and was the beginning of United Way of Greater St. Louis.

Now United Way of Greater St. Louis is celebrating 100 years, supporting more than 160 organizations.

“We have this rich history in St. Louis and this focus on strengthening our community and helping our neighbors,” says CEO Michelle Tucker. “The funds provide critical support when people are in need. When people stumble, they can reach out to United Way, and we can connect them to organizations in our safety net. We can support people who have been hit hard by COVID-19 or the recent flooding, plus the regular challenges of normal times in our community.”

With employment, food and housing insecurities, coupled with the pandemic, the nonprofit is needed now more than ever. United Way of Greater St. Louis supports a wide variety of organizations based on five main priorities: basic needs, early childhood and youth success, jobs and financial mobility, health and wellbeing, and crisis response.

This year, Penny Pennington, managing partner of Edward Jones, and Rusty Keeley, CEO of Keeley Companies are chairing United Way’s annual community campaign, along with vice chair Arica Harris, director of payment and banking operations for Edward Jones. Also celebrating 100 years and founded in St. Louis, Edward Jones was a natural fit.

“Our colleagues and clients are thoughtful and concerned about their neighbors,” says Pennington. “I have volumes of stories of how these organizations have helped our colleagues, clients and communities. United Way helps our purpose with agencies that speak to our heart.”

The United Way of Greater St. Louis annual campaign is a unique model that connects to the business community and to individuals; it pours into one central campaign that can allocate those funds for achieving a maximum effect in and creating a wraparound approach to assisting those who need help in numerous areas.

“These agencies provide services that no individual nonprofit can provide,” Tucker says. “We’re able to help our neighbors, our colleagues, our family members and friends. You make one gift, and you see it touch so many lives.”

Additionally, United Way’s annual campaign supports the region’s 2-1-1 navigation center and Volunteer Center, which have both been critical resources to local communities and people affected by the recent flooding.

“Whatever your passion is, you can find a way to help through United Way,” Pennington concludes. “Organizations don’t endure for 100 years without being high quality so people can feel really good about combining their talent with United Way and what it does.”

United Way of Greater St. Louis, 910 N. 11th St., St. Louis, 314-421-0700,

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