Texas Instruments has a long history of partnering with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas to drive community impact. In fact, TI’s founders and their families are credited with helping to establish the “Community Chest” that would become United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
Since then, all of TI’s founders and many top executives have taken on leadership roles at United Way, dating back to when J. Erik Jonsson served as the first chairman of the United Fund. Meanwhile, the company holds one of North Texas’ largest and most successful Workplace Campaigns each year, with employees enthusiastically coming together to volunteer and donate to United Way.
TI is also a sponsor of several United Way initiatives that advance education, income and health in our community—for example, our annual volunteer series programming including STEM Fest and Reading Day, the Thank Our Health Care Heroes appreciation event and our ongoing Heal Play Learn program. In 2020, the TI Foundation donated $5 million to United Way’s Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund, which provided immediate relief and supported long-term rebuilding for our neighbors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas plays a significant role in creating opportunity for all North Texans, and our support for them through the years reflects our confidence in their ability to address our community’s most pressing challenges. Investing in United Way is one of the most effective ways to make a lasting impact and bring about positive long-term change in our community.
After COVID-19 temporarily closed North Texas schools, many students struggled with learning from home and being separated from their teachers and peers. TI saw an opportunity to reengage students with learning through hands-on experiences that could serve as an antidote to the disruption and uncertainty of the pandemic. The company recognized that their field of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in particular had the potential to get kids excited about learning again.
The TI Foundation worked with United Way to launch Heal Play Learn, a partnership with Educate Texas that delivers experiential learning opportunities to local students. Through activities such as dance and music classes, science experiments and cooking demonstrations, the program encourages social and emotional wellness, physical activity, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking skills. Following the first year of programming, participating students showed improved retention rates in DeSoto schools, as well as significantly higher projected STAAR test scores.
$100 million was a bold goal for United Way, indeed for any nonprofit organization. Unite Forever is the first endowment campaign for United Way of Dallas and—with the help of our donors, as well as our dedicated leaders and vice chairs—the campaign soared.