Michael Alexander knows that strong communities don’t just happen — they are made. That is why the president and CEO of King and Prince Seafood is always looking for ways to help create that kind of atmosphere in Brunswick. One of the easiest ways he has found to do that is through the United Way of Coastal Georgia.
“We believe in a strong community. The United Way helps make this a reality,” he said.
With just one month left in the United Way’s annual fundraising campaign, contributions from companies like King and Prince Seafood will be crucial. The organization has met 30 percent of its $1.2 million goal for a campaign that wraps up at the end of December. United Way officials are putting out the call to get more businesses involved.
Alexander and the entire King and Prince Seafood team are always ready to join the nonprofit’s annual capital campaign drive.
As a large manufacturing firm, the people there know combining efforts allows them to give much more. Alexander, who sits on the board of the local United Way, said the company is always willing to step up to the plate.
“I have the privilege of representing my colleagues at K&P on the United Way board, and wanted to share what I have learned from that experience during the K&P United Way campaign meetings,” he said. “King & Prince Seafood’s team of people make a difference every day, here at work and in the community.”
Since putting out the call, Alexander has been thrilled by the response. Company employees immediately jumped in to help. And since the company matches the donations of its workers, more money has been collected for the United Way, which serves dozens of non-profit agencies in Glynn and McIntosh Counties.
Alexander even adds that employees didn’t even need incentives to give — the cause, and a little bit of fun, were all the coaxing necessary.
“Our employees understand the needs of the community and work to make it better. But we did take advantage of the meetings to have some fun. We bought tickets for the car raffle, hoping to win,” he said.
“For a dollar, every employee could buy a ‘chance at a chance’ to win the car. Alas, the raffle didn’t go our way, so a few of our team members will win a gift certificate in the upcoming drawing at our all-employee meeting.”
As the company leader, Alexander is inspired to see employees give so readily. And he believes there is a very simple reason behind the generosity.
“I think our goal matches that of the United Way — to achieve a positive impact in the community. To improve education, which in turn helps achieve income stability, and to promote healthy lives. To simplify, we want to make a difference,” he said.
Those working within the United Way can attest to the fact that donations like these make a tremendous difference. Through their experiences, they have been able to see the impact every dime has on the lives of those in need. This year, the organization’s 60th anniversary, United Way officials set the ambitious goal of $1.2 million and started fundraising back in late August.
While they gladly accept any donation from anyone — business or individual — businesses are in a unique position to raise more money, while providing a charitable opportunity for employees.
Since joining the organization in 2014, Virginia Brown has been moved by the willingness of area businesses to join the charge. The CEO and president of United Way of Coastal Georgia said the collective impact is a testimony to the depth of the community’s caring.
“United Way has enjoyed a strong partnership with the local business community for over 60 years. Workplace campaigns are a significant portion of United Way’s total charitable gifts each year, representing thousands of Glynn and McIntosh employees who generously give to local nonprofit organizations,” Brown said.
It’s also a way, she added, to create comradery within a business. In addition to King and Prince Seafood, many other area employers like the Southeast Georgia Health System and the Sea Island Co. have come up with clever and new ways to get everyone involved.
Brown is certainly glad that they do.
“The need is great and our workplace campaigns are renewing their efforts to serve as many families in need as possible,” she said. “United Way is grateful for their creativity and passion for serving others that allows us to serve one out of every four people in our region.”
Kelley Spaeder, the group’s campaign and marketing manager, agreed.
“United Way’s workplace campaigns are about bringing people together from our local workforce to tackle our community’s critical issues. A workplace campaign allows businesses and their employees to learn about our community’s needs and provides the opportunity to help make a difference,” Spaeder said. “Whether you’re a small business, major corporation or even a nonprofit, you can be a part of the change that will impact our entire community.”
And for her part, Spaeder is always willing to help companies generate ideas for raising money. She enjoys meeting with area businesses to find easy and fun ways to get everyone involved.
“We want to make it as easy, fun and simple as we can. Every workplace campaign is different and we can customize to best fit a business.”