Cover Story: Levine Foundation gives $1 million to United Way

By Dedrick Russell - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - United Way of the Central Carolinas hopes a million dollar donation will be the shot in the arm it needs to survive a tough campaign season.

Thursday kicked off United Way's 2009 campaign.

Thursday the Leon Levine Foundation gave the organization a million dollars.

United Way wants others to follow suit in donating.

The orgranization's new executive director Jane McIntyre believes the Levine gift speaks volumes to the direction of the organization.

"The Levine Foundation is very careful to invest their dollars wisely," McIntyre said. "I certainly think this shows a huge vote of confidence in the changes that we have been made."

Leon Levine hopes the donation will encourage people to give.

"We want our gift to be a catalyst for the community to rally behind the Community Care Fund," Levine said. "It has huge potential to help those in greatest need."

Will people step up? Barbara Hoefer says for 15 years she gave more than $100 a year to the United Way.

She stopped last year after the scandal involving United Way's former CEO came to light.

The former donor also said the million dollar gift will not change her mind.

"I think it's going to take a couple of years to recover from the reputation," Hoefer told WBTV.

Michael Fink says he never stopped giving to the United Way.

He also thinks what the Levine Foundation did will make a difference.

"I think it might inspire some people to continue to give." Fink said.

McIntyre knows this campaign will be tough, but believes people will come through.

"It's a good community." McIntyre said.

United Way's goal this year is $22.7 million.  If it is made the Levine Foundation will give an additional million.

The campaign ends in November.