Publix associates pledge more than $52K to United Way of Cullman County  

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United Way of Cullman County representatives met with staff at the Cullman Publix Thursday afternoon to celebrate Publix Appreciation Day. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – United Way of Cullman County announced this week that Cullman Publix associates exceeded expectations in their 2019 United Way Campaign with employee pledges totaling more than $52,000. That’s an increase of nearly $10,000 from last year. 

This is the fourth local campaign since Publix opened its doors in October of 2015. Contributions from the 2019-20 campaign will benefit United Way of Cullman County’s 17 local program partners. Publix Super Market Charities will announce an additional corporate gift to Cullman County United Way in April. Last year, the total pledge to United Way from employees and Publix Charities was over $80,000.

Goff said Publix is the second largest United Way corporate donor in the world, and the United Way recognizing and appreciating Publix associates throughout all seven states in which they work and live during the week of Feb. 24.

“Publix and their employees are consistently one of the top donors to United Way of Cullman County.  We are incredibly thankful for the outstanding commitment they have to support the mission of United Way.  We could not continue to meet the needs of our community without their generosity,” said United Way of Cullman County Executive Director Becky Goff. “We are honored and grateful to the employees who give back to the communities they serve, not only do they donate funds but they also donate their time and talents in order to improve lives in our community.”

Thursday, Feb. 27, United Way Board, staff and volunteers celebrated by wearing green and participating in “Positive Picking.”  Volunteers visited Publix between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. to say thank you in person. They also displayed banners and thank you posters in the employee break room.

Associates in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia, along with gifts from Publix Charities, have given a total of more than $850 million to United Way.  Publix is ranked the second largest United Way donor in the world. Publix and United Way have been in partnership for 40 years and we want to say thank you for all they do to help our community. 

“Although United Way is a national organization, the money raised in Cullman County stays in Cullman County,” Goff said.

Thursday afternoon, Cullman Publix Manager Brad Boshell told The Tribune, “I could say that Publix, as a company, is the number two donation giver to United Way in the whole world. Right now, we’re only in seven states, and to be only in seven states and be the number two giver in the world is pretty amazing. To work for a company that gives back like that to United Way is pretty amazing. 

“As far as our campaign here, we have a great United Way base here in Cullman County. I’ve gotten an opportunity to visit some of the clients that United Way supports, and it’s totally amazing what they do, so it’s become a passion to me- not simply because I work for Publix, but also to be involved with United Way. I take that task to my associates, and they soak that in. We are looking this year to give over $80,000 back to Cullman County, just out of 120 associates in this store right here. So that’s a pretty good ratio: 120 associates, and we’re giving $83,000 or $82,000 out of our paychecks for United Way. Very proud to be part of that.”

Publix will hold two Publix Service Days this year in March and September, providing free community service to local organizations. Boshell serves on UWCC’s board of directors and participates personally in many of those area service projects. 

Goff said of Boshell, “He has been all in, as far as embracing and understanding what it means to give back to the community, so I think that’s a big part of why he is so passionate, because he takes his time on his days off to come out and join us here in Cullman County, to make this a better place. We really appreciate that.”

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com