Scott and Anna McLean have been United Way supporters for more than three decades. They have stayed involved for so many years, in so many ways, because of their belief in the power of the United Way's human services safety net to bring hope to the most vulnerable in the community and to convene our community around broad areas of need.
The McLeans moved to Dallas in 1985 and first became involved with United Way through the Texas Commerce campaign. In 1987, Scott joined the board of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and, in 1991, he chaired their city-wide campaign, raising over $40 million. Serving in those roles allowed Scott to develop an intimate relationship with United Way's mission and work.
When the McLeans moved to Houston in 1997, they immediately became involved with United Way of Greater Houston. In the 20-plus years since, Scott and Anna have served our United Way in many ways and their personal connection to "all things United Way" has deepened.
"The reason we give to United Way is a result of the people we've met over the years, the beneficiaries, the volunteers, and the staff members who work in United Way funded agencies," Scott says. "Meeting the folks who have benefitted from these life-changing efforts has inspired us to go 'all in' on United Way."
Scott and Anna are particularly passionate about the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE. Learning what a tremendous community resource 211 is and listening in as HELPLINE specialists connected people in need with critical help, drove the McLeans to lead the capital campaign to build a new home for 211 in 2014. Together, they raised more than $8 million and ensured that the country's largest 211 HELPLINE could expand to better serve our region and the entire state of Texas.
Scott is also passionate about disaster recovery. He was chair of United Way of Greater Houston's board in 2001 when Tropical Storm Allison hit, chaired the Community Campaign in 2008 when Hurricane Ike hit, and was part of the volunteer team working to address widespread needs after Hurricane Harvey, raising over $50 million for relief. Leading United Way's various disaster recovery efforts has given Scott an opportunity to observe the United Way's irreplaceable role in supporting city, county, and not-for-profit efforts in addressing community-wide challenges.
United Way's unique ability to convene community stakeholders around tough issues and drive positive change are the key reasons the McLeans have made United Way of Greater Houston such a big part of their family giving.
"What we want to accomplish with our planned gift is for our children to know how much we love United Way, and why sacrificial giving is important now and when we are gone," Scott says. "We want our kids to do the same, and hope the United Way is part of their giving. The enduring impact of a legacy gift is as important to the spirit of our family as it is to United Way."