PAR and United Way Suncoast: Partners in Helping our Communities!

PAR and United Way have partnered together for nearly 30 years to provide help and hope to our communities and give everyone the freedom to rise. PAR consistently ranks among our Top 100 Most Generous workplaces list and has raised $2M over the years of our partnership. 

PAR employees volunteering

The funds have been raised through a variety of fun and creative workplace campaigns including a 2016 Olympic theme and 2019’s “Make Your Move” campaign featuring a scavenger hunt and employees dressing like chess pieces. Last year’s campaign pivoted to a virtual model, due to the ongoing pandemic, but employees still had fun with an online bingo game. 

Even more impressive than the creativity is the fact that PAR has enjoyed 20+ years of 100% employee participation in their annual United Way Suncoast campaign. That is an unbelievable accomplishment and we can’t thank YOU enough! Your heartfelt giving through your annual workplace campaign funds programs that provide children and adults with opportunities today that will transform their tomorrows. 

  • Early Learning – Our programs are designed to give PreK students the educational start they need to be prepared for kindergarten and ensure K-3 students are reading on grade-level by the end of 3rd grade. This a critical indicator of future success as studies show that children who read on grade level by the time they start 4th grade are four times more likely to graduate high school. Programs include:
      • Reading Rooms – located at La Mirada Garden Apartments and Bradenton Village Apartments; bring educational resources and programs to community housing neighborhoods 
      • Reading All-Stars – connects volunteers with students who need a little extra support with their reading skills.
      • The Big Plan – a community partnership focused on improving reading scores at 10 Title 1 elementary schools in Manatee County
      • Summer Care – provides books, scholarships and tutoring to students to avoid the “summer slide,” where students fail to retain academic gains over the summer.
  • Youth Success – Housed at our North Greenwood Resource Center, Operation Graduate, a partnership between United Way Suncoast, Pinellas County Schools, the Clearwater Police Department, and St. Petersburg College promotes on-time high school graduation and prepares students for college or career through tutoring, mentorships and summer programs that introduce students to the college experience.
  • Financial Stability – Our work centers around the 43% of Suncoast households who can’t cover basic needs and are one emergency away from crisis – the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population. Help is provided through a variety of program including:
      • Resource Centers – help adults reach a more financially stable future for themselves and their families by providing GED classes, job training, computer access and more.
        • Campbell Park 
        • North Greenwood
        • Sulphur Springs
      • VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) – provides one-on-one and online tax prep assistance to thousands of lower-income households, ensuring they receive their maximum refunds. The refunds, along with fees saved from paying for tax prep, go back into the community to pay for housing, childcare and debt, among other things. In 2021, VITA volunteers prepared 8,449 returns that delivered $10.9M back to the community in the form of refunds and saved fees and another $1.4M in economic recovery payments that would otherwise have been missed.
      • Bank On Suncoast – helps the unbanked and underbanked access safe, affordable checking accounts
  • Help in a Crisis – through partnerships and our own emergency funding, we are here to help when our community is in crisis.
      • 2-1-1 – A strategic community partner of United Way Suncoast, 211 provides assistance to individuals in crisis including help with housing, food access, utilities, and mental health issues.
      • COVID-19 – Providing weekly food distributions at our resource centers, help dealing with evictions, assisting individuals in accessing their economic impact payments and providing ongoing resources through our Coronavirus Assistance Center are just a few of the ways we’ve been helping our community through the pandemic.  

But, PAR employees go far beyond donations in giving back to the communities in which you live and work, following the standard set by owners Bob and Cathy Smith. Long-time members of our Tocqueville Society and among the small number of donors belonging to our prestigious Million Dollar Roundtable, they also understand that volunteers are vital to our work in the community. Each year, PAR employees participate in Week of Caring, an all-out service blitz to help other nonprofits with tasks they couldn’t otherwise complete. In 2021, employees distributed food through the Feeding Tampa Bay Mega Pantry, helping those continuing to feel the effects of the pandemic; joining the efforts of over 400 other volunteers in completing 71 projects across our five-county region. 

Employees also belong to our Young Leaders’ and Women United Leadership Societies and spend time as mentors/coaches for students in our Reading All-Stars program. 

Your gifts of time and treasure are invaluable to our community. 


Our sincerest gratitude goes out to all of you who go above and beyond to make our community a better place for all. We are proud to partner with you.  Thank you to all our existing United Way Suncoast donors. We hope this small glimpse into the work that you fund will inspire you as you get ready for this year’s workplace campaign. Keep an eye on your inbox for campaign details coming soon. 

United We Rise. United We Win. 

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