BP America Kicks-off Annual United Way Campaign

United Way of Metropolitan Chicago  is pleased to announce its partnership with long-time supporter BP America  for the 2009 annual United Way campaign. BP launched its employee giving campaign on November 2. Last year, BP employees contributed $521,603 to United Way, including a corporate gift of $261,002. This year, United Way has set a goal to raise $60 million to support more than 700 programs by providing leadership, funding and volunteers throughout the region—from Chicago to Lisle to South Holland and the North Shore. “At BP we believe in improving our communities through charitable giving. Supporting the United Way campaign is a great way for employees to give, advocate or volunteer for a good cause.  The need is great and we are proud to do our part to provide funding to so many vital programs,” said Raymond Dempsey Jr., BP Chicagoland United Way Campaign Chair. In these extraordinary times, United Way helps people in crisis in many ways including investing in the health and human services sector to help address our region’s most pressing needs. United Way is the designated lead in the region to direct nearly $7 million in federal funding for emergency food and shelter programs. It is also working with local government and other funders to strategically plan for using the Federal Stimulus package funds where they are most needed. “As the 2009 United Way campaign chair, I want to thank all of our donors for their generosity this past year, a time of dramatically increased need.  Through the support from companies like BP, United Way will give hope to families struggling to make ends meet,” said David B. Speer, Chairman and CEO of Illinois Tool Works, Inc and 2009 United Way Campaign Chair. Since 1930, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago has been responding to the needs of the communities it serves.  From the Great Depression to the wave of Hurricane Katrina evacuees who made their way to Illinois, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago provides crucial funding to those agencies offering quality health and human services programs.  Today, United Way pulls together resources—money, expertise and voices—to create the biggest impact on improving lives and communities. “As the largest non-government funder of health and human services, United Way does what no single organization alone can do to address the key issues people face around income, education and health. With the support of BP, we know the programs we fund will have the resources they need to produce sustainable, measurable outcomes.  The time to give has never been greater and we salute BP for their continued support of United Way,” said Laura Thrall, CEO, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.  United Way has invested $4.6 million in our region to help families become financially stable. Last year, more than 9,300 individuals received assistance with their tax returns, securing more than $15.5 million in refunds for low-income families.  This is just one example of when people and organizations work together, challenges can become opportunities.  BP’s United Way employee giving campaign will continue through November 16.  For more information about this year’s campaign, please visit our website or contact Sarah Frick at 312.906.2231. About United Way of Metropolitan Chicago: United Way improves lives by mobilizing caring people to invest in the community where it’s needed most. People engage with United Way to give, advocate and volunteer in their community to advance the common good.  Spanning 238 communities across six counties, United Way is the largest non-governmental funder of health and human service programs in the region. By promoting education, income and health, United Way creates opportunities for people to live stable, healthy and independent lives. About BP:  BP is one of the world’s largest energy companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items