United Way of Central Oklahoma Raises $19 million for Health and Human Service Programs

United Way of Central Oklahoma (UWCO) celebrated the close of its annual fundraising campaign on Jan. 20 with its annual United Way Gala at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. A grand total of $19,055,547 million was raised.

UWCO’s President & CEO Debby Hampton, Campaign Co-Chairs Shane and Lori Wharton, and Board Chair Sherri Lance announce the 2022 fundraising campaign grand total.

“We are immensely grateful to have received more than $19 million to support the health of central Oklahomans,” Shane Wharton, 2022 UWCO campaign co-chair, said. “We couldn’t be more thankful to start our 100th Anniversary year with this amazing success. Thank you to our generous donors, volunteers and Partner Agencies for giving the gift of hope to our neighbors in need.”

The $19 million campaign total was the culmination of 11 campaigns and initiatives that occurred throughout the year as described below. United Way of Central Oklahoma ensures that all contributions comply with our proven standards of program and donor accountability.

  • United Way of Central Oklahoma – $13,467,180 contributed to support 54 Partner Agencies serving central Oklahoma.
  • State Charitable Campaign – $336,453 contributed through State of Oklahoma employee campaigns.
  • Heart of the City Campaign – $554,613 contributed through City of Oklahoma City employee campaigns.
  • United Way of Canadian County – $200,486 contributed to support 17 Partner Agencies serving Canadian County.
  • United Way of Logan County – $206,086 contributed to support 10 Partner Agencies serving Logan County.
  • Combined Federal Campaign – $78,253 contributed through federal employee campaigns.
  • EmbraceOKC – $350,253 contributed to support behavioral health improvements in Oklahoma City Public Schools.
  • Donor-Directed Donations – $3,068,160 contributed by donors and directed to specific United Way of Central Oklahoma Partner Agencies through board-approved programs.
  • Restricted Grants – $413,323 contributed to support specific initiatives as outlined by grant agreements.
  • Endowment Gifts – $378,996 contributed to support United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Endowment. The long-term goal for this fund is to cover operating expenses, allowing every donated dollar to be 100% committed to funded programs and initiatives.
  • COVID-19 Response Fund – $1,744 contributed to support United Way Partner Agencies in addressing COVID-19 related needs.

The United Way Gala, which served as the official kickoff to UWCO’s 100th Anniversary year, also honored three community leaders who exemplify compassion for others, with the organization’s most prestigious volunteer awards.

Jean Leger, a retired OG&E vice president, is the recipient of the Ray Ackerman Leadership Award. This honor recognizes those who share Ackerman’s tireless efforts and devotion to United Way’s mission and set the standard for volunteering, leadership and caring. Leger has been involved with United Way for more many years and has served on the board of directors, as well as the Community Investment Committee’s chair.

Another honoree is Bill Citty, former Oklahoma City Police chief. Citty received the John and Berta Faye Rex Community Builder Award, which recognizes individuals who share the Rexes’ vision in finding long-term solutions to community needs. He has served numerous professional organizations, as well as many nonprofits, including Palomar and UWCO Partner Agencies Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County, ReMerge and YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City.

Larry Nichols is the recipient of the Richard H. Clements Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors individuals who have a lifelong dedication to volunteering, leadership and philanthropy not only to United Way but to the community as a whole. Nichols is a long-time supporter of UWCO and co-chaired the organization’s fundraising campaigns in 2007, raising more than $18 million. He also served as the nonprofit’s board chair from 2015-2016.

“We are incredibly honored to recognize these individuals for their commitment to our community, especially during this gala that kicks off our 100th Anniversary,” UWCO President and CEO Debby Hampton said. “They join a long list of Oklahoma leaders that have supported United Way of Central Oklahoma since 1923, and we are grateful for their years of dedication.”

During the event, other award winners, volunteers and Partner Agencies were recognized for their efforts throughout 2022, as well. Sunbeam Family Services received the Doug Stussi Financial Stewardship Award for integrating services at their early childhood and education center. Variety Care was awarded the Wharton Family Mental Health Award for putting the mental and physical wellbeing of Oklahomans first.

UWCO has been serving the central Oklahoma community for 100 years, and this gala highlighted a century of giving. UWCO will be highlighting its 100th Anniversary milestone through special events and initiatives for the duration of 2023.