Start your engines! United Way of Southwest Michigan's annual campaign kicks off this week





Contact: Ryan Cheevers / 269.932.3546


United Way of Southwest Michigan’s campaign is open. And for the second year in a row, United Way has partnered with Tyler Automotive to provide a car challenge. Donors who give $156 are automatically entered into a drawing to win a two-year lease on a sub-compact vehicle from Tyler Automotive. For every additional $100 contributed, donors receive an additional entry into the drawing.

Ten finalists are selected, and the 2018 winner will be announced on February 19, 2019 at Tyler Automotive in Stevensville. Consolation prizes will be awarded to the 9 other finalists. At last year’s car giveaway, Duane Berger of St. Joseph rode away with a new set of wheels.  

“We appreciate Tyler’s support of United Way. This campaign created some great engagement around the community, but more importantly, created huge impact,” said Anna Murphy, president of United Way of Southwest Michigan.

The automatic entry of $156, which equates to $3 per week, is enough money to provide 34 meals for someone dealing with food insecurity. It provides one free book for a child every month for 5 years.

United Way of Southwest Michigan leading state-wide unified kickoff

Dozens of United Ways across Michigan, led by United Way of Southwest Michigan, kicked off a statewide effort this week to encourage people to get involved in their communities.

Michael Larson, president and chief executive officer of the Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW), said the unified kickoff allows United Ways of all sizes to spotlight their local impact statewide.

“While each United Way tackles the needs in their local community, together we improve the quality of life for all people across Michigan,” said Larson. “When we share our ideas and successes, we grow together and transform our communities in meaningful ways.”

Beginning Monday, participating United Ways are sharing their stories through advertising, news media and social media. A common online website,, includes a video and links to the local United Ways taking part.

While the week-long kickoff is statewide, funds raised locally will stay local, Murphy said. “We’re focused on impacting local lives and sharing that story across Michigan.”

According to Larson, the unified kickoff sprung from a dialogue four years ago between MAUW, Capital Area United Way, United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, United Way of Jackson County, and United Way of Southwest Michigan. The effort adds no additional cost to participating United Ways, and in fact it helps increase visibility for smaller United Ways that may not have resources for extensive marketing.

“United Way connects and mobilizes all sectors in a community to create lasting change that produces healthy, educated and financially stable individuals and families,” Larson said. “The unified kickoff is about telling that story and inviting people to get involved.”


United Way of Southwest Michigan fights for the Health, Education and Financial Stability of every person in every community. We have the influence and relationships to make sustainable change a reality. By harnessing resources from corporate, nonprofit and public partners, we provide immediate assistance to our most vulnerable populations while addressing the root causes of our community's longstanding challenges and changing lives for the better. To join the fight—through giving, advocacy and volunteering—visit




Ryan CheeversComment