Seven United Way Partners Honored with Spirit of NC Awards

Greensboro, NC (February 28, 2022) – Seven local United Way of Greater Greensboro partners will be honored with Spirit of North Carolina Awards at United Way of North Carolina’s annual award event on March 1, 2022.

Every year, United Way of North Carolina recognizes organizations that have succeeded in raising funds to support their community and have dedicated themselves to being part of the long-term solution to build stronger communities. Winners of this year’s awards went above and beyond the traditional scope of fundraising by deeply engaging their communities and volunteers, supporting COVID-19 relief efforts, and by creating opportunities to educate employees on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“The Spirit of NC Award gives United Way of Greater Greensboro an opportunity to acknowledge organizations that have stepped up big ways to make a real impact in the local community. This year’s winners are fully committed to helping children, adults, and families leave poverty, and we are so proud and thankful for their partnerships,” says Nadine Malpass, Senior Vice President of Resource Development, United Way of Greater Greensboro.

Local Spirit of NC Award winners include:

Building a legacy of community engagement through volunteerism

  • Summit Rotary Club - The Summit Rotary Club of Greensboro has been a committed partner of United Way of Greater Greensboro for the last ten years. From taking on volunteer leadership positions, to hosting resource drives for families in need, to making significant financial contributions to support United Way Family Success Centers (FSC) and Integrated Service Delivery Network during the pandemic, Summit Rotary has dedicated itself to deep community engagement in the Greensboro community around efforts to end local poverty.
  • Xtern Software - Community engagement, volunteering, and a culture of care are core values for Xtern Software and its employees. To help Family Success Center (FSC) members gain workplace skills for employment, Xtern executives and software developers held COVID-safe interest sessions to meet with FSC members, assess their computer literacy skills, and build a curriculum to meet their needs. In response to the pandemic, Xtern gave financial support, held hygiene supply drives, and created care packages so that FSC families had critical supplies during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • “We are very impressed with United Way and its efforts to end local poverty. We are especially impressed with its Family Success Centers (FSC) which provide bundled services in a way that is innovative and better serves families in our community. Xtern Software is proud to partner with the FSC to offer services that their members are seeking, like computer literacy courses for job readiness," says Keir Davis, President, Xtern Software.


Building Campaign Momentum with Engaged Leadership & Employees

  • ITG Brands - ITG Brands stepped up their campaign engagement this year by thinking outside of the box. First, they assembled a campaign committee with representation from each of ITG Brands’ Business Units, allowing for increased participation from employees, more thorough communication about the campaign, and exposure to United Way of Greater Greensboro messaging about our new Bold Goal. Senior leadership also provided employees with incentives for those who participated which helped increase turnout not only in financial contributions made but for a drive-through Purse Party event that generated auction items for our Handbags to End Poverty event as well.
  • “ITG Brands is committed to Greensboro and the families that make up this community. We value the long-term partnership we have enjoyed with United Way, and we support the mission to end poverty which aligns with our Diversity and Inclusion commitment to ensure all members of this community can live up to their greatest potential. Thank you for the recognition and we look forward to doing our part to continue to make Greensboro a great community for all to thrive,“ says Kim Reed, CEO of ITG Brands.

Campaign/engagement success or campaigns conducted amid COVID-19

  • Lincoln Financial Group - Lincoln Financial Group (LFG) has maintained their standing in the top 2 overall workplace campaigns in Greensboro. The success of Lincoln’s employee-driven campaign is attributed to their creative and agile approach to engage employees in a virtual environment. Amid COVID-19, employees reimagined traditional campaigns, offering new and innovative formats to encourage active participation. Virtual events included a senior leadership series focused on giving back, along with weekly “lunch and learn” opportunities. Lincoln employees are deeply engaged, uniquely connected and remain firmly committed to their Greensboro community, which helped to ensure a successful campaign.
  • “At Lincoln Financial Group, we serve our communities with compassion. The United Way Spirit of North Carolina Award is a testament to that compassion and the continued generosity of Lincoln employees,” said Mike Burns, Senior Vice President of Life Solutions, Lincoln Financial Group. “We are honored to receive this award and we remain committed to a shared future where everyone in our Greensboro community thrives and reaches their full potential.”

Investment in long-term sustainable impact

  • The Fresh Market - As a guiding principle, The Fresh Market believes in bringing people together and giving back to the communities they serve. Their partnership has been instrumental in supporting United Way of Greater Greensboro’s year-round signature events. The Fresh Market has provided generous large in-kind contributions of flowers, food, gift cards, and more, along with financial contributions that have had a lasting impact in the Greensboro community. In addition to their support of United Way, they make food donations multiple times per week to Feeding America’s partner food banks and its agencies to fight hunger in their communities.

Leading through the DEI lens

  • Cone Health, Kontoor Brands -After hosting a series of community conversations on racial equity in the summer of 2020, United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) decided to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion by launching a 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge in the spring and fall of 2021. Thanks to support from Kontoor Brands and Cone Health, nearly 800 people accepted the challenge and received 21 daily emails with thought-provoking content and resources exploring topics like structural racism, segregation, privilege, gender, and LGBTQ rights. Both Kontoor Brands and Cone Health sponsored the challenge and promoted it to their employees as an internal diversity, equity, and inclusion educational and learning opportunity. Both organizations openly acknowledged that dismantling barriers to equity is key to creating a community where people can thrive, which is at the heart of UWGG’s efforts to end local poverty.
  • “Diversity, equity and inclusion are woven into the culture of Cone Health. The 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge was an important resource allowing us to continue our leadership on these issues,” says Cone Health CEO Dr. Mary Jo Cagle. “We are honored for this recognition and thankful of the United Way of Greater Greensboro for keeping the conversation going in our community.”

For more information about the Spirit of North Carolina Award and to view a complete list of winners, visit

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