United Way of the CSRA is celebrating 75 years of serving our community, and our 2011 Campaign is in full swing.
Many companies have concluded their individual campaigns, and several of these organizations have far exceeded their goals. Given our country’s economic challenges, this is truly a testimony to the giving spirit of our community.
These companies and their employees were excited about running successful campaigns, energized by United Way’s mission “to improve life in our community by maximizing the impact of charitable contributions” – and its vision, “to be the leader in identifying health and human service needs and securing and distributing resources to meet these needs.”
It is the commitment of many employees contributing to United Way at all levels that will make, and has always made, our campaigns a success. Being involved makes all of us more acutely aware of the growing needs in our community and the hardships that exist.
MANY OF US have friends and even family members who have already benefited from a United Way partner agency, or will need a helping hand at some time in their lives. So, as caring citizens, we contribute what we can, knowing that our dollars are expanded through the efforts of United Way to support not one agency, but 43 impact programs at 23 health and human service agencies.
Giving to United Way is a smart way to “give a little” through a payroll deduction, or a one-time donation, knowing that your contribution will be combined with thousands of other donors to positively impact the lives of so many individuals and families. Through our outcomes-based funding process, six new partner agencies were recently added to an already impressive group of 17, and they all are doing outstanding work.
UNITED WAY OFFERS much more than just financial support of the services provided by the partner agencies; it provides additional benefits that are valuable to the entire community and our many non-profit organizations. Here are three impressive examples:
• “2-1-1”: Many of us might not know whom to call or where to refer someone in need of critical health and human services. United Way sponsors a free 24/7 information and referral service that anyone in our community can access simply by dialing “2-1-1” (including most mobile phone providers) to get referrals for any need.
That’s right – your United Way serves our entire community with this service, and makes referrals to over 900 local agencies and sites so that our citizens can get to the right place for assistance when they need it most. In fact, 2-1-1 has logged over 24,000 calls this year alone. And the data we collect regarding the need that each caller expresses is stored and sorted so that we can stay current on the needs in our community – not just those that affect United Way’s mission, but the entire community.
• FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card: Your United Way coordinates this program, which provides a prescription discount card that can provide an average savings of 30 percent on prescriptions for those with no health insurance, or those in need of medicine not covered by their health insurance plan. Cards are provided by your United Way free of charge to anyone upon request with no waiting, no age or income restrictions, and no limit on usage.
Since its July 2009 inception, over $834,000 has been saved on prescriptions in Burke, Columbia, Emanuel, Jefferson, Jenkins, Lincoln, McDuffie, and Richmond counties.
• Community Voice Mail (CVM): Provides free, personalized 24-hour voice mail access to people in crisis and transition who need a reliable and confidential way to communicate with prospective employers, landlords, health-care providers, case managers, social service staff and family. Your United Way’s partnership with CVM will provide this vital program to as many as 200 persons in need in the coming year. United Way of the CSRA is the only Community Voice Mail provider in the state of Georgia outside the Atlanta area.
In addition to knowing that contributions are being put to great use in a most efficient and effective manner, giving to United Way could provide additional value to you.
FOR INSTANCE, the United Way and 50 of our community’s finest merchants want to thank you for your confidence in our mission by inviting you to become a member of The Caring Club. If you commit just $12 per month ($144 per year) or more, you will qualify for membership in The Caring Club and receive a card that entitles you to unlimited discounts and special offers throughout the year.
In addition, thanks to the generosity of Bob Richards and Bob Richards Auto Group, the United Way will again give a car away at our Annual Meeting in February. What a great way to end our 75th Anniversary! One lucky person will win a 2012 Nissan Sentra. When you donate a minimum of $260 per year (just $5 per week), you become eligible for a ticket to win this beautiful car.
Our campaign goal is to raise $4.1 million, not a small amount of money. We know the goal is attainable, and while we are encouraged by the early results, we still have a long way to go. With the support of companies whose campaigns are ongoing, and people like you, we are hopeful that we will meet our challenge.
IT HAS BEEN humbling and rewarding to hear from recipients who benefit from the services provided by United Way donations. Should you choose to support the campaign, you can be very proud knowing that you will make a difference in the lives of many people. Because of your generosity and the generosity of others, many of our citizens most in need will be served.
Thank you in advance for partnering with United Way.
(Zack Daffin, vice president and Business Development Officer for Georgia Bank & Trust Co., is United Way of the CSRA 2011 campaign chairman.)