Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2015
United Way presents 2015 Spirit Awards
Honoring the spirit of collaboration, community impact and strategic vision, United Way of Greenville County presented its 2015 Spirit Awards to four community leaders committed to making a difference.
Greenville businesswoman and philanthropist Minor Shaw, Greenville County Schools, the Community Foundation of Greenville and Hollingsworth Funds received the awards during a ceremony Tuesday night in downtown Greenville.
Shaw, president of Micco, LLC, and chair of the Daniel-Mickel Foundation, was presented with the Spirit Award for Community Leadership. A long-time United Way supporter and volunteer, Shaw was recognized as a visionary community leader whose impact and influence on Greenville County, the Upstate and all of South Carolina will be felt for generations.
She served as chair of United Way’s board of trustees in 1995 and has been a strong proponent of the importance of collaboration among the funders in our community, developing a shared vision and aligning resources to maximize impact.
“Her leadership and vision have played a role in so many successful community initiatives covering all three points along United Way’s Cycle of Success,” said United Way President Ted Hendry, citing Shaw’s work to advance school readiness, high school graduation and financial stability initiatives in the community.
Greenville County Schools received the Spirit Award for Organizational Leadership for its work, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Greenville County Schools is annually recognized as one of United Way of Greenville County’s top campaigns. Last year, employees contributed nearly $600,000 in support of United Way’s work. While the district is one of 50 largest school systems in the country, its United Way campaign ranks in the top 10 nationally.
The school district was also recognized for its willingness to collaborate with other community organizations. In the last two years, the district served as a key driver of the Middle Grades Success initiative, an important new community effort to help all middle school students stay on track to graduation. The district’s participation led to Greenville County receiving a highly competitive federal Social Innovation Fund grant to help fund the new initiative.
The Community Foundation of Greenville and Hollingsworth Funds received the Spirit Award for Philanthropic Leadership for their commitment to working collaboratively and strategic investments in long-term community change.
Throughout the years, both the Community Foundation and Hollingsworth Funds have been leadership funders in big-picture, strategic initiatives, including the Institute for Child Success, the Greenville Region Workforce Collaborative, CommunityWorks Carolina and now, the Middle Grades Success initiative.
Recently, the Community Foundation and Hollingsworth Funds played key roles in the formation of the Greenville Partnership for Philanthropy, embracing the idea that no single organization can solve the complex social challenges facing our community.
Now in its fourth year, the United Way Spirit Awards recognize and celebrate the people, companies and nonprofit organizations that exemplify the generosity, leadership, and caring spirit of our community.
Past Spirit Award honorees include leaders in United Way’s work to build a Cycle of Success for all in Greenville Count, including Bob Yeargin, Fluor Corporation, Greenville County First Steps; Greenville Health System, Susan Shi, CommunityWorks Carolina, Michelin North America, Elizabeth “Ducky” Gower, and Pendleton Place for Children and Families.
“Today, we add four more names to that extraordinary list,” said Hendry. “Through their foresight, expertise, innovation, leadership in collaboration and commitment to making a difference, this year’s honorees epitomize the spirit of our community and our United Way.”