Tempe, Arizona (NAPSI) - In many communities, companies are finding innovative ways to make a difference.

Some inspiring examples can be found in the companies given awards this year for their efforts in partnership withUnited Way. Here are the eight companies honored:

• P&G was honored for its efforts on children’s health and education. Globally, P&G invests more than $100 million annually in charitable cash, product and employee donations. Company employees volunteered more than 52,500 hours in 2011, plus senior leaders served on more than 200 prominent local, national and global boards.

• Publix Super Markets, Inc., raised $45.6 million forUnited Way, promoting the nonprofit on 220 million grocery bagsÊ as well as including Born Learning education tips on store shelf signs and customer newsletters.

• Bank ofAmericaand its employees raised more than $35 million and volunteered more than 1.5 million hours nationwide. The bank also supported free income tax assistance, resulting in more than 530,000 completed tax returns.

• Deloitte raised $21 million for communities, plus the firm tapped its employees’ professional experience to serve nonprofits through skills-based volunteering and has pledged $110 million in pro bono work to leading nonprofits.

• Microsoft and its employees donated $100.5 million to nonprofits and educational institutions. The company provided a $17/hour match for employee volunteer hours with employees recording more than 426,000 hours. Efforts focused on providing opportunities for youth.

• General Motors’ GM Foundation made its largest gift ever—a transformational $27.1 million grant toUnited Wayfor Southeastern Michigan—to create a “Network of Excellence” within seven area high schools and increase graduation rates from 50 percent to 80 percent over five years.

• Wells Fargo raised $56 million annually, plus team members volunteered 1.5 million hours—a 10.8 percent increase over last year. The company also offers a unique Volunteer Leave Program that provides fully paid volunteer leave for up to four months for team members to work on a significant project impacting a nonprofit organization or school.

• Illinois Tool Works (ITW) raised $11.4 million, including a generous dollar-for-dollar match, plus an enhanced match to encourage participation and leadership giving. To provide opportunities for young people, ITW’s innovative annualUnited Wayvideo is created by high school students, Boys and Girls Club kids and a nonprofit creative arts foundation.

The Spirit of America and Summit Awards program, celebrating its 25th year, is United Way’s highest national honor for a corporation. For more information, visit www.unitedway.org/SOA.