For its 2004 United Way campaign, Johns Hopkins
Medicine plans to set up information booths at various
spots on the East Baltimore campus during a two-week period
next month. There, volunteers will answer questions about
the human services organization and how to give to the
campaign. A free meal awaits those who return their pledge
form at lunchtime celebrations scheduled during that
Patricia Brown, co-chair of the JHM campaign and
president of Johns Hopkins Health Care, said that Medicine
has opted this year for a fun, focused and educational
campaign strategy, one that emphasizes participation at any
level. Brown said that she wants people to consider not
just what to give, but why they should.
"We are all so busy — we realize that — so
we wanted to make sure people stop for a moment and at
least consider why the United Way is so important to all of
us," Brown said. "My personal goal is, I want people to
understand what the United Way is all about. I see our
involvement as a corporate responsibility. As a major
employer, Johns Hopkins is in a unique position to truly
impact the health of our community, and consistent and
strong support of the United Way is one way we can show our
support for those in need. United Way is the organization
that provides the safety net of services that assures
availability to meet most needs in our community. It's
about improving people's lives."
The university will officially begin its 2004 drive
for the United Way of Central Maryland this month with a
kickoff event on the Homewood campus at noon on Thursday,
Sept. 23, in Shriver Hall. Separate launches will be held
on other campuses in September and October.
This year's four campaign chairs — for the
university, Martha Hill, dean of the School of Nursing; for
the Applied Physics Laboratory, John Gibson, program area
manager for the Strategic Systems Programs; and Brown and
her co-chair for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Martin Abeloff,
director of Oncology at the School of Medicine — have
set a combined goal of $2,459,900.
John Gibson, chair of the Applied
Physics Laboratory campaign.
This figure represents a total for contributions from
JHM and all university divisions except the School of
Advanced International Studies, whose donations are
reported to the Washington capital area campaign. Last
year's combined Johns Hopkins gifts to the United Way of
Central Maryland totaled $2,371,214.
In an effort to refocus on its primary mission, the
United Way of Central Maryland this year instituted a new
policy that removes organizations that don't provide a
health and human service — such as arts councils and
some schools and churches — from the list of agencies
that can be designated.
Gibson said that the United Way of Central Maryland
realized that it needed to refocus on what it calls its
Community Safety Net, a network of agencies expert at
addressing human needs that receive funding from the
"As a result a very small number of agencies have been
removed from the United Way's list of agencies for which
they will accept donations," Gibson said. "The thought here
was to simply focus on the primary community support, those
frontline health and human services."
Events scheduled for the six-week campaign include a
universitywide Day of Caring, to be held Oct. 12; the
second annual Hopkins Chili Cook-Off; and a lottery drawing
for those employees returning pledges or contributions of
$50 or more. The lottery deadline is Nov. 11.
The Days of Caring are events in which staff and
faculty can get directly involved with a local community
service. Traditionally, employees have fed the homeless,
refurbished shelters, held bake drives and volunteered
their time with disadvantaged or disabled children, to name
just a few. This year, volunteers will head to a pumpkin
farm in Baltimore County to interact with children from St.
Jerome's Head Start, a child-care center in Baltimore.
This will be the second straight year Johns Hopkins
partners with St. Jerome's. Martha Hill said that
revisiting agencies during the Days of Caring has become a
common practice, and something the university wants to do
"Overall, the Days of Caring are an effort to engage
people. It's relationship building, an interactive way of
giving beyond just making a pledge," Hill said. "With St.
Jerome's, what we are trying to do is continue this
relationship to create more opportunities for hands-on,
face-to-face interaction. We want people to go back and see
the fruits of their labor and the positive results of their
The money raised by the 2004 United Way campaign will
support more than 250 affiliated human service programs
that seek to improve people's lives in Baltimore City and
the five surrounding counties.
The theme for this year's campaign is "Imagine That,"
and Hill wants Johns Hopkins employees to imagine how much
good would result from their being involved.
"I think participating in the United Way campaign is
something that we could all do quite easily as a way of
taking care of our community and the needy," she said. "It
creates a culture of giving, something that I think is
deeply embedded in Johns Hopkins and the people who work
Abeloff said that Johns Hopkins Medicine hopes to
increase its number of leadership donors, those who give
$1,000 or more, and to ask past leadership donors to give
more if they can, whether it be at the bronze, $1,000;
silver, $2,500; gold, $5,000; or Alexis de Tocqueville,
$10,000 or more, levels.
"But what we really want is a significant increase in
overall participation," Abeloff said. "If a large number
give at small or modest levels, that can have a very
profound impact, and we feel this is a top priority."
For more information on Hopkins' United Way campaign,