Union Bank, as part of its Community Recovery Program, has announced its decision to award $10,000 to United Way’s Young Leaders Society in Santa Barbara County, making Union Bank the largest supporter of the affinity group this year.
Union Bank is a longtime supporter of United Way community programs and initiatives, including the organization’s Fun in the Sun summer learning program and crisis response and recovery efforts. The bank engages with the organization year-round, with many of its employees representing Union Bank in United Way affiliate groups and various volunteer opportunities.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Union Bank was one of the first organizations to partner with United Way to support community-wide crisis response efforts. With their support, United Way was able to broaden reach and impact for thousands of local residents and families.
The recent grant from Union Bank to United Way is a continuation of the partnership to build more resilient communities. The Young Leaders Society was formed thirteen years ago as part of United Way’s effort to encourage young professionals living in Santa Barbara County to become involved in their local community and begin building the leadership and business skills that they need to be successful in their careers. The group embodies the focus of the Community Recovery Program from Union Bank by supporting the next generation of professionals in the workforce, with a blended focus on career development and philanthropy.
“This comprehensive approach makes the group a particularly important element of resilient community building and encouraging a workforce that views giving back as an essential part of professional development,” said Steve Ortiz, CEO of United Way, and founder of the group.
Union Bank has a long history of representation within Young Leaders Society. Erik Scheer, a former YLS Executive Committee member and current AVP at Union Bank stated, “When the Young Leader’s Society was formed, I began attending events for volunteering and for professional development. It’s a great combination for young professionals who are looking to continuously develop in their careers, while also being able to give back to the communities that we live and work in. After several years of general participation, I became a member of the executive committee, which was very fulfilling. It’s an amazing feeling to see the benefits of the work being passed on to the community and young leaders. And of course, an added bonus is the positive impact in my career with the bank.”
Outside of membership within affinity groups, volunteers from Union Bank have been an integral part of the United Way community for nearly a decade, serving as tax aides during the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, community mentors during the Fun in the Sun Lunch Bunch program, and have also assisted with United Way’s annual Day of Caring event.
“At Union Bank, we are proud to support the communities in which we do business.” Said Vince Caballero, Managing Director at the Santa Barbara County Region for Union Bank. “We are honored to partner with an organization that impacts our communities by making a positive difference in the places we work and live. United Way truly embodies the spirit of community. We look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.”
United Way is grateful for its partnership with Union Bank and looks forward to utilizing the award to further empower YLS to advance United Way’s mission of building more resilient communities and supporting students and families countywide.
About United Way of Santa Barbara County
Since 1923, United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has been a key leader in local efforts to empower children, families, and communities through its own unique collaborative programs and initiatives, partnership convening efforts, volunteer development, and funding. UWSBC’s mission is to enrich the lives of children and families and build resilient communities by leading local programs and partnerships that improve school readiness and academic achievement, financial empowerment, and crisis response and recovery. To learn more, please visit unitedwaysb.org.