DETROIT, Sept. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --
- United Way Campaign Chair and GM President Dan Ammann, Mayor of the City of Detroit Mike Duggan and newly-appointed United Way President and CEO Dr. Herman Gray lead Torch Lighting Ceremony on Hart Plaza
- The goal is to exceed last year's $45 million in order to enable United Way to expand its work in three impact areas: Basic Needs, Education (with a focus on Early Childhood) and Financial Stability
- The torch is a long-standing United Way symbol for its annual Community Giving Campaign
- For the first time this year, the torch will be electrified with energy saving LED lights
General Motors President Dan Ammann, who also serves as United Way for Southeastern Michigan's Campaign Chair, kicked off the annual community giving campaign today with a symbolic torch electrifying ceremony on Detroit's Hart Plaza.
Ammann announced that the campaign goal is to exceed the $45 million raised in last year's campaign. The funds will support United Way's ongoing work to address some of the most challenging social issues facing this region.
"Every day, United Way is helping someone in need and making Greater Detroit a better place to live and work," said Ammann. "We are committed to working together to ensure that every family's most basic needs are being met – that no children in our community are going to bed hungry at night, that all students have the opportunity for a good education, and that families are financially stable and acquire the skills to remain financially stable for the long term."
New United Way President and CEO Dr. Herman Gray and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, along with many community members, civic, business and community leaders and supporters, attended the event.
The lighting of the United Way torch symbolizes a public- and private-sector partnership to achieve a common goal – making greater Detroit one of the top five places to live and work in the country by the year 2030. Supporting United Way ensures that positive, lasting community change will continue to occur at a grassroots level. The organization relies for support on a combination of individual and corporate contributions, as well as grant funding.
Dr. Herman Gray commented, "I come to United Way at an exciting time in its history. United Way has launched a new initiative called 'Bib to Backback,' a collaborative effort to reach children at birth and help them to thrive and prepare to succeed in school and beyond. That name – Bib to Backback – symbolizes the commitment of United Way to create conditions for innovation and positive, lasting change for the members of our community at all stages of their lives. We are so grateful for the steady support of Metro Detroit residents and businesses. Your generous giving is what makes our work, in this initiative and so many others, possible."
At United Way for Southeastern Michigan, we believe that "It Takes a Family" to affect positive community change –and that "family" takes many forms. From parents and siblings, to work peers and social networks, we create lasting bonds with the people around us. We know that by working together, as one big family, we can all make a difference.
The GM Foundation is a long-time supporter of United Way's education efforts. The Foundation's largest grant ever – $27.1 million to United Way for Southeastern Michigan – was pledged in 2010 to create a "Network of Excellence" in seven Detroit-area high schools. The grant provides necessary resources to help the schools reach their goal of increasing graduation rates and preparing students for college or career training. Additionally, the grant helps sustain more than 65 Early Learning Centers, with nearly 20 that focus on serving Detroit's most challenged neighborhoods.
About General Motors Company
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, the Environment and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit www.gm.com/gmfoundation.
About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through its annual Campaign and is a leader in convening partners to impact local residents each year by increasing economic self-sufficiency, protecting children and youth at risk, strengthening families, empowering neighborhoods and communities, and promoting health and wellness. Additional information is available at www.liveunitedsem.org.
SOURCE United Way for Southeastern Michigan