The True Meaning of Living United
By: Clint Weaver, United Way of Waco-McLennan County Board President & 2016 Campaign Chair
Last year, I had the privilege to serve as the United Way Waco-McLennan County Campaign Chair. Currently, I serve as the agency’s Board President. Like so many others, I support our local United Way because of a fundamental belief in the organization’s unique ability to meaningfully impact the most pressing issues facing our community. Consider several statistics that illustrate our challenge.
- 26.5% of McLennan County children live below the Federal Poverty Line
- 24.5% of McLennan County individuals are un-insured
- 19.8% of McLennan County individuals are food insecure
- 49.2 of every 1,000 teens in McLennan County become pregnant
- 478.3 of every 1,000 individuals in McLennan County experience domestic violence
*Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Our local United Way seeks to address these issues and others by harnessing the power of the community one donor at a time. Historically, this has been accomplished through workplace campaigns. Each year, thousands of workplace donors across our community answer the call to help their neighbor. These women and men, by generously giving a portion of each paycheck, are the life-blood of the annual United Way campaign. Last year, workplace donors enabled our local United Way to contribute nearly $2,000,000 toward programs accomplishing the following:
- 20,549 low-income McLennan County children received access to Early Childhood Education Classes, and quality afterschool and summer school programs.
- 33,753 low to un-insured families and individuals in McLennan County received access to medical pre-screenings, health exams, prescription assistance, and physical, emotional, and mental therapy.
- 150,498 meals and bags of groceries were provided to children, families, and individuals in McLennan County living below the Federal Poverty Line.
- 4,602 low-income pregnant girls and women in McLennan County received access to prenatal care, resource assistance and post-pregnancy parenting classes.
- 22,344 families and individuals experiencing family crisis and domestic violence received access to shelter, resources, counseling, and case management.
Last year, over 41,000 McLennan County families benefited from United Way funded programs. As evidenced by these statistics, a gift from one individual, when pooled with donations from co-workers and neighbors, has the ability to positively impact thousands of lives. This is the purpose of the United Way: to unite multiple individual donors and leverage their collective resources to generate lasting impact in the community. Generations have been made stronger, more self-sufficient, and have risen above poverty’s limitations because of the collective might of work place donors.
For nearly 90 years, United Way of Waco-McLennan County has focused on strengthening our community and creating opportunity for every citizen through inspired and informed philanthropy. All too often, people equate philanthropy with great wealth and large donations. My experience with last year’s campaign opened my eyes to the main street philanthropy that occurs around us each day. Without public recognition or fanfare, work place donors continually, year-after-year, provide the resources needed to support their neighbors in need. These are the philanthropists who empower our work and truly exemplify what it means to live united. I am humbled by their steadfast belief in our mission. On behalf of the United Way of Waco-McLennan County board and staff, our United Way funded agencies, and the thousands of lives positively impacted each year, I say thank you to these amazing women and men for the difference they make in our community. I am #ProudToLIVEUNITED.
A financial advisor since 2006, Clint joined Stifel in 2014. Clint makes it a priority to place his clients’ interests first and use his knowledge and experience to continually adapt to their rapidly changing industry. Clint’s community involvement includes serving on the Executive Board and Foundation Board for the United Way and on the boards of the Heart O’ Texas Fair and Rodeo and the REACH Therapeutic Riding Center. He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Waco and is active in the Baylor Bear Foundation. Clint and his wife, Casie, have two children: Jack and Tessa.