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

Publix and United Way have partnered together for more than 40 years to provide help and hope to our communities and give everyone the freedom to rise. Here on the Suncoast, Publix has been our No. 1 workplace campaign for the past five years. And Publix Super Markets Inc. was recently named United Way’s No. 1 global corporate partner for the second year in a row.
Volunteers working with United Way Suncoast hold up red t-shirts witht he message
But we’ve always appreciated the generosity of Publix associates. Throughout the many years of our partnership, Publix has donated nearly $57M to United Way Suncoast. Last year’s campaign alone raised $5.6M. Though we can’t visit the stores to personally thank you, we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to tell you how much we value YOU! 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, Publix associates go far beyond donations in giving back to the communities in which you live and work. Volunteers are vital to our work in the community. Each year, you participate in countless projects across our five-county region through Publix Serves and our annual Week of Caring service blitz. Over the past year, 2,333 volunteers dedicated 11,798 hours at 74 project sites for a total value back to the community of $310, 456. 

In addition, Publix associates participate in our Women United and Young Leaders’ Society and serve on our Manatee Area Board of Directors. 

View our Suncoast Snapshots below to see:

  • How the help she received while a Publix associate inspired corporate philanthropy manager Abigail Kahl to join United Way Suncoast.
  • How Publix Asst. Customer Svc. Manager Elissia Corchado’s time in the United Way Loaned Executive program helped her “find her why” for giving back. 

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. And, if you haven’t donated before, we hope this small glimpse into the work that you fund will inspire you to join all the wonderful Publix associates already giving back through their paycheck.

To make your donation, see your United Way Store Coordinator. If you are making a designation, print and fill out your 2021 Designation Form, then turn in to your United Way Store Coordinator before the campaign ends on September 19. Remember, you must also make your actual pledge through the corporate pledge site.

United We Rise. United We Win. 

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