David Steward, Kathy Osborn, Warner Baxter and Penny Penningtom


Faced with unprecedented need because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic devastation, the United Way of Greater St. Louis has unprecedented firepower beyond its 2020 fundraising campaign. The campaign typically has two chairpersons. This campaign has spokespersons – and they are power hitters by any standard.

Those four spokespersons are David Steward, founder and chairman of World Wide Technology; Kathy Osborn, president and CEO of the Regional Business Council; Penny Pennington, managing partner of Edward Jones; and Warner Baxter, chairman, president, and CEO of Ameren Corporation.

“As our region and neighbors face unprecedented challenges and impacts amid the COVID-19 crisis and the call for racial equity, our support of United Way and its work is more critical than ever,” Steward said.

“This year it’s more important than ever that those in our community who can support this work step up and continue to do so,” Osborn said.

“United Way leads our community in supporting and maintaining our region’s safety net nonprofits to help keep our neighbors whole,” Pennington said.

“Through United Way, thousands of people in our community receive vital resources, like food, shelter, mentorship for young people, job training, and so much more,” said Baxter. 

United Way’s Board Chair Michael Moehn noted how unique of a situation it is to have four key leaders unite to lead the campaign. 

“Certainly, this year is unprecedented in all we do, and this calls for an unprecedented approach in rallying the community behind United Way,” Moehn said. Having leadership from four major St. Louis entities join together in this way will help to align our local resources and create our most successful path forward.”

United Way of Greater St. Louis supports over 1 million people in 16 counties throughout Missouri and Illinois to create strong and healthy communities. Additionally, United Way manages 2-1-1, a free and confidential helpline that connects people to resources and services. Since March 12, 2-1-1 has received nearly 43,000 calls, compared to 18,800 for that same time period in 2019.

United Way’s annual campaign runs in the fall from September through mid-November. The dollars raised through campaign support 167 Safety Net agencies that help people through five impact areas: provide food and shelter, establish financial stability, foster learning, improve health, and strengthen communities. View the list of Safety Net agencies at https://helpingpeople.org/funding/.

“Dave, Kathy, Penny, and Warner are such passionate and dedicated leaders, and all have been longtime supporters of United Way,” said Michelle Tucker, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis. “This year will require collective and historical fundraising efforts to help respond to the complex challenges across our St. Louis region.”

Recently, United Way has been responding to the immediate and long-term needs of the community due to COVID-19 and its economic impacts. So far, United Way has invested more than $1.2 million into nonprofits throughout the St. Louis region that are providing access to food, medicine and personal care items; rent, mortgage and utility assistance; childcare for essential workers; and mental health support.

For more information and to contribute, contact 314-421-0700 or visit www.HelpingPeople.org.


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