Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

April 25, 2013

You can help the United Way reach its goal

The United Way of Allegany County campaign for 2012-13 will end April 30 and to date has raised over $460,000 which is over 90 percent of its goal.

But there is still $45,000 to be raised, and in a very short time. So what does that amount of money represent to the agencies that are requesting and counting on funding?

Until a few weeks ago, when I volunteered to be part of the Community Response Committee, I wouldn’t have had a clue.

Our committee has been meeting with agency representatives, board members and clients of all agencies as they describe their programs and present their funding requests for next year.

We review the requests and make funding recommendations to the United Way board.

Unfortunately even if this year’s campaign reaches its goal, some agencies will not get all they asked for. But that’s not the issue. The issue is that the campaign has not reached the goal for this year.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far about what $45,000 means to local programs. To start with, that amount is more than the total amount requested for any of the 17 programs that applied for funding next year.

It is much more than the amount requested to pay for: emergency dental treatments for 187 adults last year; a parenting program to teach positive discipline; hotline and shelter services; food purchased to distribute through the food bank; disaster relief and blood services; education services for pregnant and parenting teens; mentoring programs for children; afterschool and summer programs; activity and leadership experiences through the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; emergency, short and long-term prescription drug programs; summer programs and internet access for a local library and more than space allows here.

I am not on the United Way board, so I can’t tell you what happens at the end of the year if the campaign does not reach its goal.

What I can say is that after listening to these agencies present their funding requests, they all deserve funding. And having worked for non-profits most of my life, I can tell you how important it is for an agency to know where funding is coming from and how much it is.

So if you have already given to the campaign, please consider giving more. If you haven’t given yet, there is still time.

You can give online at this website http://www.cuw.org/content/donate, or send a check to United Way of Allegany County, 71 Baltimore St., Cumberland, MD 21502.

Rob Rephan

Frostburg

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