The Butler County United Way is gearing up for its annual fundraising effort, the United Way workplace campaign, to support the community. As a global initiative, the workplace campaign has more than one million volunteers and supports a countless number of communities by partnering with businesses across the country.

By partnering with reliable and viable local businesses, the Butler County United Way continues to provide Butler County communities with key components of sustainable growth.

“We believe education, income and health are the building blocks for a quality life,” says Mitchell Willis, resource development director for the Butler County United Way. “We are all about advancing the common good.”

Last year nearly 4,500 individuals and 175 companies participated in the Butler County United Way workplace campaign. By working with businesses throughout the county, the effort raised roughly $2 million last year, with more than $1 million of that getting funneled back into the community.

Whether you have five or 500 employees, the workplace campaign offers an opportunity to give back.

“At Clark, Schaefer, Hackett & Co. our mission is to better the lives of our clients, people and communities. Supporting the United Way helps us do all three,” says John Venturella, shareholder with Clark, Schaefer, Hackett & Co. and United Way campaign cabinet chair. “I’m involved in the United Way because of its incredible community impact. There’s no effort more vital than helping individuals become successful and self-sufficient.”

By doing a payroll deduction, or fun events like a dress down workday or an afternoon cornhole tournament, businesses can support local agencies and charities around the region.

“The workplace campaign is the heart and soul of United Way globally,” says Willis. “Many companies promote it internally.”

The 2014 United Way workplace campaign starts Aug. 28 and runs through Oct. 24, but companies and business can start their campaign earlier or later if necessary.

Along with the campaign drives, the Butler County United Way has also orchestrated several other events to raise funds.

The Live United Golf Outing will be held at the Fairfield Greens South Trace on Aug. 8. With the help of community leaders, philanthropists, sponsors and donors, the golf outing has raised $85,000 throughout its five years. On Oct. 4, the United Way Women’s Leadership Council will partner with Operation Pumpkin for a 5K Zombie Run/Walk. Don your zombie makeup, tattered clothing and head to the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton before hitting the pavement at 4 p.m. All proceeds will benefit Shared Harvest’s Backpack Program.

“Philanthropy is based on individual choice,” says Willis. “Anything you can do to give back to your community is huge.”