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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University December 4, 2006 | Vol. 36 No. 13
There's Still Time to Give to the United Way Campaign

By John Black
Faculty, Staff and Retiree Programs

The deadline for returning pledges for the United Way of Central Maryland has been extended to this Friday, Dec. 8. The following answers to frequently asked questions should help facilitate the decision for those still considering a donation.

Q: What is different about United Way this year?

A: United Way is implementing a community impact model to channel donations to nonprofit organizations that work in the areas of Basic Needs, Family Safety, School Readiness and Youth Achieving Potential. In doing so, United Way hopes to create sustained long-term improvements in Central Maryland. Johns Hopkins University goals in the upcoming year are to provide, through Basic Needs, counseling to 1,967 families to prevent foreclosure on their homes; through Family Safety, 590 mothers and children with a year of counseling to overcome abuse; through School Readiness, 14,172 low-income children with education on nutrition and fitness; and through Youth Achieving Potential, 1,774 teens with education to prepare for their future, improve their self-esteem and stay away from drugs.

Q: How will this impact model help United Way address the needs of the community?

A: By funding organizations that provide services such as early childhood education, counseling, mentoring and after-school programs, United Way hopes to address the root causes of poverty, crime and drug abuse in our region, an approach praised by university employees. Among those concurring with this approach is United Way donor Marion Pines, a distinguished fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies. "United Way's focus on 'youth achieving potential' is in line with my own work to address the serious problem we have in this country of over 5 million young people being out of work and out of school," she says. "The programs funded through this focus, such as mentoring, after-school services and counseling, can go a long way to help at-risk youth."

Q: Where does the money go?

A: United Way of Central Maryland invests your Community Impact Safety Net contributions in programs throughout Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties.

Q: Can I designate my contribution for non-United Way agencies and organizations?

A: While an undesignated dollar is still considered by the United Way to be the best way to help the most people, donors have the option of directing their gift to any 501(c)(3) health or human service agency by writing in the agency name and designation code on the pledge form. To keep processing costs low, designating to an agency requires a donation of at least $50.

Q: Can I exclude an agency from re-ceiving any of my donation?

A: Donors have the option of excluding an agency from receiving any part of their gift from the Community Impact Safety Net by completing the exclusion section on their pledge form.

Q: Is it better to give through payroll deduction?

A: Payroll deduction is the easiest way to contribute, and it helps United Way keep administrative costs low, so nearly all your contribution goes to help people in need.

Q: How much is spent on campaign costs and overhead?

A: A force of volunteer workers helps keep United Way of Central Maryland's overhead extremely low, making it one of the most cost-effective charitable organizations to which you can contribute. In fact, by offering online pledging, United Way of Central Maryland is able to ensure that 87.5 cents of every dollar goes directly to local agencies.

Q: I can't afford to give more than a dollar or two a week. Does this really make a difference?

A: Every gift is important. When your gift is combined with nearly 200,000 others, the impact really adds up. Just ask Whiting School of Engineering staff member Natalie Leonard, who has benefited from two United Way agencies, the American Cancer Society and Meals-on-Wheels. "Since I am a soon-to-be 13-year cancer survivor," she says, "I like to think the money given to the American Cancer Society has not only extended my life but someone in the life of every Hopkins employee as well."

Q: Why choose the United Way Community Impact Safety Net?

A: The Community Safety Impact Net is like an "investment pool" built to address the issues our community says matter most. It is the only giving option that allows you to join with tens of thousands of others to focus our resources where we can have the greatest impact. The investment is needed: 473,000 Marylanders live in poverty, only one in three Baltimore children were prepared to enter kindergarten last year, there were nearly 3,500 cases of child abuse or neglect in Central Maryland last year, and more than 49,000 young adults in Maryland are not working or enrolled in school.


Please give today. Pledge online at Your contribution will help to provide a better, brighter life for thousands of needy families in Central Maryland.


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