First Merchants Gives United

November 1, 2013

United Way logoMUNCIE, Ind. - Thursday October 17, 2013, marked the end of the United Way of Delaware County fundraising campaign at First Merchants Corporation, and it ended big!  First Merchants is the epitome of what it means to LIVE UNITED. They are the true definition of their motto: The Strength of Big, The Service of Small. At First Merchants, community commitment is more than just mere words. It’s how they do business.  

This year alone, First Merchants Corporation has provided more than $163,000 in financial contributions to United Way. What is most impressive about this campaign is that the employee campaign (employees give to United Way through payroll deduction, or direct gifts) gave over $98,000 of that total contribution. First Merchants Corporation added an additional $50,000 corporate contribution and a $15,000 sponsorship to help with marketing expenses and other United Way events and programs.   More importantly, First Merchants has provided support to employees as they give of their time, talent and treasure to programs and organizations that make this community home--especially United Way.

“Their above and beyond attitude has been an inspiration to the United Way of Delaware County as we watched them pull together and raise $98,000 from just employee giving,” said Qiana O’Neal, Director of Marketing and Communications for United Way of Delaware County. “That is phenomenal”.

Under the leadership of Mike Rechin, President/CEO of First Merchant’s Bank and  Karen Karmolinski, President of the Muncie Region of First Merchants Bank, the United Way campaign at First Merchants has contributed nearly 10 percent of the overall fundraising goal for this year’s campaign.

“We’ve used a bunch of slogans over time here, but the one that resonates right now is ‘First Merchants Cares’,” said Mike Rechin. “This is a very tangible example, but that tingle, that warmth you feel right now is really what it’s all about. It is making the community in which we all live and work a better place to be.”

“We were determined to make a difference in the community in which we live and work,” said Karen Karmolinski. It was our goal to raise $100,000 in the employee campaign and help to create a brighter headline for our community.”

First Merchants employees gathered together at the Daleville Data Center and at the Jackson Street Office to cheer for their success and hold high the letters that combined read: FMB Gives United. Employees were celebrated for their giving with pizza, raffles and prizes. United Way’s President/CEO Jenni Marsh was presented with a ‘big check’ and had this to say of the festivities.

“I certainly can’t write a check for $163,000. This is what it means to LIVE UNITED. It’s every individual coming together and giving something that is meaningful to them and making a big difference in our community. It’s not transactional fundraising, it’s transformational fundraising.”

Over the last 10 years, First Merchants has given over $2,000,000 to United Way of Delaware County. The tradition continues.

United Way of Delaware County is a non-profit organization whose mission is to unite the caring power of community to improve lives.