Publix Super Markets, Inc. surpassed its 2016 United Way campaign goal by raising $62 million. Companywide, associates pledged $35.5 million through annual payroll deductions. Publix Super Markets Charities contributed an additional $26.5 million in matching funds.

As United Way of Santa Rosa County’s No. 1 donor, that translates to $170,066 worth of positive impact for Santa Rosa — an increase of $1,257 pledged by Santa Rosa Publix locations over 2015.

Although Publix Super Markets operates in just six states, in terms of employee giving, it’s recognized as the world’s third largest United Way Global Corporate Leader. The top GCL donor ranking lineup includes Wells Fargo (No. 1), UPS (No. 2), Publix Super Markets (No. 3) and Microsoft (No. 4).

Wow. This company has a lot of big, generous hearts: These statistics absolutely blow me away. I find it amazing that, year after year, Publix not only holds its own with these companies — it also ranks ahead of Microsoft. Both are quite astonishing feats, even for larger companies to achieve.

Publix Super Markets’ 2016 campaign was held Sept. 1-11. The Publix Super Markets Charities matching funds’ contribution amount is based on total payroll deduction pledges made in each region.

Strength in Giving was selected as the campaign theme for 2016. Strength in Giving reminds me of a statement made many years ago by Publix founder, George Jenkins. He was keenly aware of the powers of giving and supporting one’s community. When asked about how much thought he would be worth had he not given so much away, he responded, “Probably nothing.”

Publix's giving legacy continues companywide through additional countless acts that include: contributing associate volunteer hours, making local food and school supply donations, and holding annual corporate campaigns for Feeding America, Food for Sharing, Food for All, Children's Miracle Network, March of Dimes, Special Olympics, Tools for Schools and United Way. The Publix Partners campaign benefits regional schools by collecting funds from qualifying customer purchases.

Santa Rosa is blessed to have three, and soon four, Publix Super Markets located in Pace, Navarre and Gulf Breeze; the fourth location is under construction in Gulf Breeze, at Tiger Point.

Our United Way is proud to have Publix regional manager, Jackie Gouge, contribute her time and expertise by participating on our board of directors. We are also grateful that, over the years, Publix managers have taken time from their busy schedules to partake in our annual, day-long agency funds allocation panel.

On behalf of all of us at UWSR, we want to take this opportunity to express that we are both humbled and honored by Publix and its associates for all they do, every day and in every way, to serve and support Santa Rosa and United Way. 

To arrange a United Way workplace campaign for any number of employees, donate, or volunteer, call UWSR campaign director, Debra Baez, at 850-623-4507.