The Highmark Foundation donates $100,000 to West Virginia United Ways | News, Sports, Jobs
Directors of three United Way organizations in West Virginia accepted donations of $25,000 each from the Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund Wednesday at the United Way’s Parkersburg office. Pictured from left are Margaret O’Neal with the United Way of Central West Virginia, Jim Fawcett, President of Highmark West Virginia, Stacy DeCicco with the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley, and Jess Rine with the United Way of the Upper Ohio Canyon. (Photo by Evan Bevins)
Jim Fawcett, President of Highmark West Virginia, speaks during a news conference Wednesday morning at the United Way Alliance of Mid-Ohio Valley offices in downtown Parkersburg for donations totaling $100,000 to United Ways across the state were announced. (Photo by Evan Bevins)
Highmark West Virginia President Jim Fawcett, left, and Stacy DeCicco, Executive Director of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley, pose for a photo with a ceremonial check for the $25,000 contribution from the Highmark West Virginia Foundation the organization on Wednesday at the United Way offices in downtown Parkersburg. (Photo by Evan Bevins)
Highmark West Virginia President Jim Fawcett, left, and Jess Rine, Executive Director of the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley, pose for a photo with a ceremonial check for the Highmark West Virginia Foundation’s $25,000 contribution to the organization on Wednesday at the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley offices in downtown Parkersburg. (Photo by Evan Bevins)
PARKERSBURG – When the Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund wants to make a difference in the communities that the insurance provider serves, it often turns to the United Way.
“That way we have the assurance that our dollars are really going to (people) in need, and that’s reassuring.” said Jim Fawcett, president of Highmark West Virginia.
Fawcett and Highmark representatives presented three checks to United Ways directors in Parkersburg, Wheeling and Charleston, each for $25,000 Wednesday morning at the United Way Alliance office in the Mid-Ohio Valley in Parkersburg. Highmark has offices in all three cities, and the foundation also donates $2,777 to the other nine United Ways in West Virginia as it serves people in all 55 counties.
Combined, this is the second year in a row that the United Way has donated $100,000. Fawcett said he trusts organizations to use it wisely.
“Highmark truly relies on the United Way to connect with the communities we serve.” he said. “Each year, those needs change by community.”
Fawcett said the funds are unrestricted, meaning they could be used as the organization sees fit.
“A gift like this in the middle of campaign season is transformative,” said Stacy DeCicco, executive director of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley in Parkersburg. “It enables us to do what needs to be done.”
Fawcett asked United Way directors if needs were different in different parts of the state.
Margaret O’Neal, executive director of the United Way of Central West Virginia in Charleston, said utility and rental support are the biggest needs right now, although she expects food and other areas to increase due to inflation. Additionally, “We don’t have enough safe and affordable housing in West Virginia.”
DeCicco and Jess Rine, executive director of the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley in Wheeling, agreed that the needs in their regions were not dramatically different.
DeCicco said Highmark’s contribution will feed into the organization’s annual campaign and payouts will be determined during the January grants process. The United Way partners with and funds a variety of non-profit organizations that serve the community.
“These dollars will flow back into the community,” She said.
Rine said the Highmark donation will also go to the Upper Ohio Valley campaign, which is the theme “Grown up here, stay here.” Donors and volunteers will participate in an allocation process in April to determine how the funds will be distributed.
“This is one of our largest corporate donations that we receive throughout the year,” said Rine. “We understand the greatest needs in our community and are addressing them with this type of funding.”
Evan Bevins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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