Avista employees sort and box thousands and thousands of apples during the United Way Day of Action on Sept. 18 at the Second Harvest Food Bank. The event helped kick off this year’s Spokane County United Way campaign.
On Friday I attended this year’s kickoff event for the Spokane Country United Way campaign held at the Second Harvest Food Bank
near downtown Spokane. Avista and its employees have long been supporters of United Way
. For the second year in a row the Spokane County campaign chair is Avista CEO Scott Morris, which certainly has a lot of Avista employees even more tuned into the campaign this year.
During the event a few facts about the Spokane area really struck me. First – one in three children in our area don’t graduate from high school. One in five Spokane children lives in families experiencing poverty. Finally, child abuse rates around here are almost double the Washington state average. The United Way is focusing its efforts on helping improve the lives of the people in our area through its partner agencies and hopefully improving upon these statistics.
This year’s goal is to raise $4.8 million for the Spokane County United Way. Avista is a pacesetter company, and combined with employee donations, has already contributed $361,000 of the $610,000 raised in early campaigns.
The kickoff event was followed by the United Way Day of Action. Roughly 150 volunteers from nine companies participated, including 38 Avista employees who worked at Second Harvest and a mobile food bank at the Salvation Army. I shot some video at the events and will post one soon.
The point of mentioning Avista and its employee’s volunteer work isn’t to give us a pat on the back, but to recognize that there are great needs in the communities we live in and that each of us can do something to help improve the lives of those around us. Our employees donate around 50,000 hours of community service work each year – just because it’s the right thing to do. Volunteering your time or donating to a cause you believe in is one way that you can make a difference as well.