Three Indianapolis couples have pledged to invest $1 million each to accelerate United Way of Central Indiana's plan for transformational community-level change. Paid over four years, the contributions will be used to challenge others to give at every level to ramp up United Way's impact on its education, income stability, health and basic needs challenges.
"These investments by respected community and business leaders are a powerful statement about how transformative gifts of any amount can be," said Ann D. Murtlow, president and CEO of United Way of Central Indiana.
Led by John Lechleiter, chairman and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, and his wife, Sarah, the plan involves a new $1 million investment by the Lechleiters to United Way to encourage increased support from other community leaders.
“We need philanthropic investments that alleviate suffering today while addressing the root causes of social problems in the future," said Lechleiter. "United Way is uniquely positioned to do this, and their progress toward improving education, income stability, and health – and providing for basic needs – gives us confidence that they are on the right path. With more resources, United Way can accelerate their impact, and we need community leaders to join us in helping make it happen."
Angela Braly, former Wellpoint CEO and her husband, Doug, and Lilly executives Andreas and Mary Sashegyi, are the first to join the Lechleiters in giving $1 million each over four years.
"United Way truly empowers everyone who cares about others to do something profoundly meaningful with that impulse to help," said Angela Braly. "The collective power of every size gift fuels United Way's community impact strategy. Who would not want to be a part of something that full of hope?"
Andreas Sashegyi and his wife, Mary, are both Lilly employees. "United Way is helping people become self-sufficient in the long-term, and that is the transformation we all want," said Andreas Sashegyi.
There is still time for individuals and companies to participate in United Way's current annual campaign to raise $42.5 million. Visit uwci.org/give to give online or mail a contribution to 3901 N. Meridian, P.O. Box 88409, Indianapolis, IN 46208-0409.
At a reception Dec. 18, United Way honored the three couples who are each members of United Way Worldwide's Million Dollar Roundtable by virtue of their contribution. The investments bring the number of Million Dollar Roundtable members locally to double digits (10) for the first time. Nationwide, 550 community leaders have made gifts of $1 million or more to local United Ways.