Seven local businesses that partner with United Way of Greater Greensboro were honored with Spirit of North Carolina Awards at United Way of North Carolina’s annual awards event on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.  

The winners include Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard L.L.P., the City of Greensboro, Cone Health, Guilford County Schools, Lincoln Financial Group, Morrisette Paper and Syngenta.

Every year, the state’s United Way organization uses the Spirit awards to recognize businesses, governments and others that have succeeded in raising funds to support their community – and have “dedicated themselves to being part of the long-term solution to build stronger communities.”

Julia Thomas, the campaign director for the local United Way, said 2020 was a tough year to support community groups but these entities came through.

“This year’s winners stepped up to support local children, families, and adults even when their own business and employees faced extreme challenges,” she said.  “We are incredibly grateful for their partnership and care for the greater Greensboro community.”

A press release from the company stated, “Leading beyond the traditional fundraising campaign, these winners created opportunities to educate employees on community needs, led by those at the top of the organizational chart; motivated campaign participants to give by exposing them to real stories of need; and provided volunteer opportunities so that donors could offer their knowledge and their hands to serve their community.”

Here’s some of the good work the winners did for the organization.

  • Syngenta’s virtual kickoff and prize giveaway was “an extraordinary way to start off the year” and was considered key to this year’s high fundraising rate.
  • The Guilford County Schools are one of the top fundraising school systems in North Carolina and the system supported the organization in many other ways as well.
  • Cone Health System’s drive for the United Way switched to become 100 percent virtual last year due to the pandemic, but the health system’s leaders shared information about the United Way campaign in all staff meetings and raised a good of money.
  • Morrisette Paper gave a significant corporate gift and offered a corporate match for its employees.
  • Lincoln Financial Group has invested in United Way for almost a century. When the business was Jefferson Pilot, it was a founding member of the Greensboro Community Chest. The company was honored for its years of help supporting those in need in Greensboro.
  • The City of Greensboro has been a long-standing partner with United Way of Greater Greensboro, and, in the pandemic, the city established the Greensboro Virus Relief Fund. Those donations were used to support local children and families affected by the virus. The United Way and Greensboro also formed a Virus Relief Taskforce to determine ongoing needs and fund distribution.
  • Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard L.L.P increased total dollars raised and worked to raise more than $100,000 for United Way to end generational poverty in Greater Greensboro.