Rich’s and the United Way: Bettering Our Community Together

Some organizations, much like fine ingredients, simply work well together. Rich Products and the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County share a natural connection; both are driven to improve community well-being. For more than 20 years, Rich’s has partnered with the United Way to care for the local community like only a family can.

“The Rich’s organization and its associates are committed to giving back through service opportunities and their dedication to the community starts with the leadership,” said Michael Weiner, President, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. “If Bob and Mindy Rich weren’t so philanthropic, supportive and committed to civic responsibilities we really would not benefit from their support.”

At Rich’s, ‘bettering the community’ is more than just a vision or a hope for the future, it’s a promise. Associates are encouraged to become active community members, to lend their time and talents to local organizations. An ongoing partnership with the United Way affords associates many opportunities to get involved in Western New York.

“There are many ways to support the United Way: give, advocate and volunteer,” said Karen Christie, Chief Human Resource & Community Engagement Officer, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. “Rich’s is committed to our community and they deliver in every way possible.”

“Who better to align ourselves with than the United Way,” said Howard Rich, Rich’s vice president of Corporate Relations. “Whether we’re raising funds, serving on boards, or participating in the Day of Caring, together we can achieve our common goal of fostering a healthy, supportive community.”

Howard will chair the company’s annual United Way campaign and lead the charge in rallying awareness and ultimately support to achieve this year’s fundraising goal of $230,000.

For nearly 20 years, Rich’s has been making donations to the United Way’s annual giving campaign. Each fall, Rich’s encourages associates to donate a portion of their pay to the United Way’s efforts locally. Over the years, through associate and corporate gifts, Rich’s has donated more than $3.7 million to the United Way.

“The United Way touches so many lives in our community, even some of our own associates access their services,” said Paulette Willett, a Human Resources associate at Rich’s who has been coordinating the corporate campaign for many years. “Each year we set our fundraising goal a little bit higher and each year our associates dig a little deeper to meet and exceed those goals.”

“We have an incredible group of very passionate, very community-minded individuals that make up our campaign committee,” said Willett. “Thanks to the support of our leadership, our campaign chair and the generosity of associates, we are able to achieve our goal of bettering the community.”

Rich’s corporate campaigns have become so successful that the United Way now uses the company as a teaching model for other organizations.

But dollars alone will not change a community. Often, the biggest impact is felt when one person reaches out a hand to help someone else.

Since 1996, Rich’s associates have been participating in the United Way’s annual Day of Caring. For one day, as many as thirty associates roll-up their sleeves and visit community organizations to lend whatever support is needed. In one day, associates can make a lasting impact at one of Buffalo’s many grassroots community organizations by simply pulling weeds, maintaining buildings, painting fences or interacting with clients.

For the past few years, many associates at Rich’s have also participated in Family Volunteer Day with their loved ones. This annual United Way event is a fun day of giving back to the community with projects designed for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to do with the children in their lives. Through the program so much important work gets done for the community and the spirit of volunteering and working together is instilled in the children.

“Rich Products is proud to partner with the United Way. We’re committed to Buffalo and Western New York. We’re thankful for the many efforts our associates make to better our community,” said Rich.