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Ecolab and United Way Partner for Kids in our Community

A volunteer is packing a backpack surrounded by other volunteers

United Way Staff


Every year, organizations ranging from small to large partner with Greater Twin Cities United Way to create positive change in our community. Our company partners are a highly valued and critical part of our mission, investing their time through rewarding, team-building volunteer projects and their dollars through United Way workplace campaigns and corporate sponsorships.

Making a Financial Impact

One of those key company partners is Ecolab, which invested $1.8 million in the community through Greater Twin Cities United Way in 2018. This generous gift supports over 29,000 individuals in our community, including:

  • Nearly 1,300 children participating in educational programs to prepare for future success, including:
    • 450 infants, toddlers, preschoolers and parents provided with quality early-childhood care and parent engagement, so they can enter kindergarten ready to thrive.
    • 650 young people engaged in youth-development programs, gaining skills to direct their own future success.
    • 180 high school students on career pathways to prepare for success in high-demand fields.
  • More than 7,300 callers to United Way’s 2-1-1 resource hotline, which connects callers in need to community services, such as housing, food, utility assistance and more.

As part of their community giving campaign, Ecolab provided funding to boost Greater Twin Cities United Way’s work in educational success. This falls under one of the Ecolab Foundation’s focus areas, Youth & Education, which works to support programs that promote youth development (focusing on at-risk youth).

“Ecolab believes in supporting our local community and because United Way knows the needs of this community, it truly is a great partnership," said Kris Taylor, Ecolab's Vice President Global Community Relations.

Volunteering at Action Day

Another consistent characteristic of Ecolab’s involvement with United Way over the years has been employee engagement. Greater Twin Cities United Way’s signature volunteer event in educational success is Action Day, where volunteers help pack backpacks full of school supplies for kids in need in our community as they go back to school. This year, Ecolab was a key sponsor of Action Day and 119 Ecolab employees volunteered, contributing to United Way’s accomplishment of packing 40,000 backpacks for local students.

In 2018, Ecolab had also had four highly engaged employees take part in United Way’s giving communities, including Arise Project, Emerging Leaders and Women United. One employee also participated in GTCUW’s Beginner Board Boot Camp, a board service and governance training.

At a leadership level, Ecolab is extremely committed to Greater Twin Cities United Way. Beth Simermeyer, Ecolab’s Executive Vice President, Global Marketing and Communications and Life Sciences, is on Greater Twin Cities United Way’s Board of Directors. Global Community Relations Communications and Program Manager Alexa Hoekstra is also a United Way Corporate Leadership Cabinet member. In partnership with United Way, Ecolab is building a stronger nonprofit sector and more vibrant Twin Cities community.

Inspired? Your company can volunteer, partner, fundraise or do any combination of these – our team is ready to help you set up a successful workplace campaign. We know that every company is different and will help customize your messaging and activities to keep everyone engaged and excited about contributing to our community! To get involved, visit our Partners page.

About the Author

Greater Twin Cities United Way unites changemakers, advocates for social good and develops solutions to address the challenges no one can solve alone to create a community where all people thrive. Together with our partners, we’re meeting immediate community needs while transforming inequitable systems in the areas of housing, food, education and jobs.

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