Community involvement helps United Way of Washtenaw County reach its goals!
"The donations and support we receive from local businesses, corporations, agencies, and individuals facilitate real, measurable change in our community," says Pam Smith, United Way of Washtenaw County President.
The goal set by their 2012 Annual Campaign Cabinet and this year's chair Doug Strong is $5.9 million. Money raised here stays here and is invested back into this community, shared Smith.
Many different nonprofit agencies, human service programs, and collaborations that serve the community will benefit from the donations collected. Last year's campaign is currently benefiting 45 agencies in 6 target areas; early childhood care and education, hunger relief, senior assistance, health safety net, homelessness and housing, and school aged youth.
"United Way is not just an organization. It is the community. It is a conduit to bring everyone together," Smith says.
United Way of Washtenaw County provides multiple options for investing in our community. The first is to give to the Community Fund and rely on the expertise of staff and volunteers to identify Washtenaw County's most critical needs. You can also choose one or more of the United Way of Washtenaw County’s 6 target areas. Finally, if there is a nonprofit agency or human service programs you want to support, you can direct your gift specifically to them.
"We try to give people as many choices as possible and always follow donor intent," Smith explains. When gaps are identified, United Way of Washtenaw County’s Community Fund provides resources to address critical unmet needs.
United Way is perhaps best known for working with companies and organizations to run workplace campaigns and payroll deductions gifts are a popular and affordable way for many to give. Hundreds of businesses and corporations encourage their employees to give during these campaigns, which occur throughout the year and participating businesses frequently match their employees' donations with corporate gifts.
"All of the corporations and businesses that are involved with us understand the benefit of engaging in the community and giving back. When the community is strong and there are resources to support critically needed services such as affordable quality childcare, it makes the entire area a more attractive place to live and work. Employees stay longer. Businesses with on outward look towards the community understand that giving comes back to them in many ways," Smith says.
Contributions from individuals not associated with company campaigns continue to be a growing segment of the campaign. United Way of Washtenaw County’s website provides donors with a link to a secure site with multiple options for making a gift.
However you choose to give, donations through Workplace Campaigns, corporate matches, foundation gifts, and donations of all sizes from individuals "generate the revenue we need to make actual change happen in the community," Smith says. She adds a reminder that "there are other ways to get involved such as volunteering your time to a cause or showing your support through advocacy."
"This year we are celebrating the 90th year of Continuous Commitment to Our Community. What that tells me is that, for 90 years, this mission has been critical. The reason it has lasted so long is because the community here really believes in and cares about making Washtenaw County a better place," Smith concludes.
Visit http://uwgive.org to give, get involved and learn more about United Way. United Way of Washtenaw County is located at 2305 Platt Road. You can reach them by phone at (734) 971-8200.