The COVID-19 pandemic has largely impacted everyone’s lives over the past year. Be it globally or locally, it has touched every one of us. Though a challenging year, we saw communities come together during times of need. Neighbor helping neighbor, friend helping friend, and more family time than anyone could ever have imagined possible. Marker, Inc. has been fortunate enough to remain strong and fully operational throughout the pandemic, managing to keep all our associates employed full-time with no change in salary or benefits and no layoffs. Others have not been as fortunate – we have seen incredible unemployment rates, subsequent issues with rent and utility payments, increased homelessness, stress at home with remote schooling and working, and growing mental health concerns. When it was time to launch our annual United Way Workplace Campaign last fall, our communities’ needs were greater than ever.
Marker’s goal for the internal fundraising campaign was to raise a total of $40,000 in pledges, which included associate contributions plus a 100% company match. In true 2020 fashion, the campaign kicked off virtually, with special guests who spoke to our associates about our communities’ escalating needs. Tammy Nicholl, Executive Director of the Mental Health, Drug, and Alcohol Services Board of Logan and Champaign counties, talked about the importance of counseling centers staying open and continuing mental health and drug and alcohol treatment during this critical time. Ellen Moss, CEO and Executive Director of the Godman Guild in Columbus, spoke to the growing and shifting services required to address children and family’s needs in the city. These presentations were inspirational and set the stage for the week-long campaign.
When it was time to share the results (virtually, of course), Marker revealed that the pledges collected from associates, plus the 100% corporate match, totaled $77,000! The goal was nearly doubled! Becca McGillis, Human Resources Manager and campaign coordinator, shared: “Each year, our associates never fail to amaze me! One of the slogans for United Way is ‘Great things happen when we live United,’ which is true. Combining all our resources allows us to help more people and organizations than if we tried to do it on our own. With all our associates contributing their money through pledges, and Marker matching our pledges dollar for dollar, we can make a difference in the lives of those who will be receiving services and help from United Way-funded organizations. What a privilege it is to be part of something so great!”
For the second year in a row, Marker earned the coveted Traveling Trophy for the large business division. The Traveling Trophy is the United Way of Logan County’s highest honor – awarded to the workplace with the highest per capita gift. Marker also received the Gold Award for achieving one of three criteria: at least 60% employee participation, at least a $200 average employee gift, and a 100% corporate match. We met all three criteria! In the last five years, Marker has raised almost a quarter of a million dollars through the United Way Workplace Campaigns. Empathy is one of the core values of Marker, and we are so proud of our associates for their caring and commitment to giving back to their communities.
Founded in 1955, the United Way of Logan County has been fighting for the health, education, and financial stability of everyone who calls Logan County home. The 2020 United Way Campaign raised over one million dollars for over 40 United Way funded agencies in Logan County – making it the smallest community in Ohio to ever achieve $1 million in a United Way campaign for the third consecutive year. From Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, providing children under a book each month until they turn 5, to the Second Harvest Food Bank, a mobile food pantry providing over 625,000 pounds of food each year, and even a Housing Stability Program, the United Way has been providing services to support members of the community for over 65 years. And 2020 was certainly no exception.