For more than three decades, Specification Rubber Products has helped United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) make hope happen.
“The United Way annual campaign is a big deal around here,” said John Vines, Human Resources Manager at Specification Rubber. “Our President Steven Smith is a big proponent of United Way. His passion is a driving factor.”
The Shelby County company was one of twenty-one area businesses that participated in the 2020 UWCA Pacesetter Campaign. Held in the weeks leading up to Fall Campaign Kickoff, the Pacesetter Campaign includes a select variety of area companies that agree to launch their internal campaigns early, helping UWCA get the ball rolling on donations. As you might imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic presented a unique set of problems for this year’s Pacesetter, which traditionally involves in-person, onsite meetings and speakers from UWCA’s partner agencies and programs. Many companies moved these events online, but Specification Rubber took the opportunity to innovate.
“From the beginning, we were trying to figure out how to make live events work while keeping everyone safe,” said Vines.
The team moved meetings from the conference room to the warehouse, giving employees (wearing masks, of course) the space to properly social distance. And while the warehouse lacked the conference room’s technological amenities, such as a projector and screen, speaker Sara Lynn Been, a Pacesetter Loaned Executive and UWCA Relationship Manager, kept things simple.
“Sara Lynn shared the story of a friend who’s a veteran and was able to use a photo of him to really get the point across,” said Vines. “We’ve always had speakers who really drive the message home, and this year was no different.”
The creativity led to a successful campaign, with 92% of Specification Rubber’s 61 employees choosing to LIVE UNITED and make a payroll-deductible donation. The company was even able to increase its total contribution to United Way, thanks to 24 donors increasing their individual gifts and 11 new donors joining in.
Commitment to the community is part of the company’s culture. “When we see others who have a need, we feel like we need to pitch in,” said Vines.
They’re not alone: Specification Rubber Company and their Shelby County neighbors are projected to invest $2.4 million in their community through UWCA this year alone! Each gift supports United Way programs like 2-1-1, which connects callers with vital resources in their communities, as well as the work of our network of more than 70 partner agencies and programs, impacting countless lives in Shelby County and beyond.
Thanks to United Way partners such as Specification Rubber and all those community-minded employees, hope happens throughout Central Alabama.
To join in supporting UWCA, please click here.