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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University October 22, 2007 | Vol. 37 No. 8
United Way: New Fund to Aid Neighbors

Campaign also features streamlined online pledging

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

The university's 2007 United Way of Central Maryland campaign, which kicks off today, will feature two new ways of giving.

Most notably, employees will be able to designate all or part of their donation to the new Johns Hopkins Neighborhood Fund, which supports agencies that serve communities in close proximity to Johns Hopkins campuses and have a strong relationship with the university and its employees. The fund, which will be administered by United Way of Central Maryland, was created to assist community- oriented organizations and agencies that may not currently receive United Way funding.

The fund applies to both the university's effort and Johns Hopkins Medicine's campaign, which kicked off last week and runs until Oct. 26. It has been seeded with a $10,000 donation from the President's Office.

The Applied Physics Laboratory campaign will not change, and SAIS' donations are reported to the Washington National Capital Area campaign.

A committee representing a cross-section of Johns Hopkins employees will oversee the allocation of the Neighborhood Fund, which focuses on five key areas: health, education, public safety, employment and community strengthening. To be considered for funding, nonprofit organizations must be associated with JHU through employee and/or institutional involvement and deliver services to the communities near JHU campuses.

Employees will still be able to donate all or parts of their gift to United Way of Central Maryland, a specific agency or one or more of the four United Way "impact" areas: Basic Needs, Family Safety, School Readiness and Youth Achieving Potential.

Charlene Hayes, the university's vice president for human resources, said that the new Johns Hopkins Neighborhood Fund provides a way to leverage donations and provide needed support to agencies with close physical and relationship ties to Johns Hopkins.

"The neighborhoods these agencies support are very, very important to us, and they need our assistance. This new fund gives our employees a better way of investing in our surrounding communities," Hayes said.

The campaign also features a new streamlined and secure online pledging system, United eWay, which replaces the one formerly used. The eWay system is reachable through and .

The combined university/Johns Hopkins Medicine financial goal for the 2007 campaign is $1,992,510. The Applied Physics Laboratory does not set a financial goal but chooses to focus on its Days of Caring, during which time employees may volunteer at various Howard County agencies. This year's Days of Caring will run from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30.

In 2006, employees and students from the combined Johns Hopkins Institutions, which include APL, pledged more than $2.5 million to programs funded by United Way of Central Maryland.

Among the events highlighting this year's campaign are the new JHU Community Block Party, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29, on Homewood's Levering Plaza. It will feature food, games and representatives of the United Way and agencies from each of the organization's four targeted impact areas. For admission, participants need to bring a completed pledge form, receipt from an online pledge or a $5 donation.

Other important activities are National Community Service Day, Saturday, Oct. 27, and a Chili Cook-Off, Friday, Nov. 30.

The first campaign-related event, the Share Yourself Makeover II, took place on Sept. 25 at the YMCA of Central Maryland's Owen Brown Child Care Center in Howard County. The center is currently undergoing an accreditation process and lacked many required items, such as age- appropriate furniture, games, books and other educational resources. A six-member team from the university, with help from Baltimore Ravens players, helped transform the center's room for 2-year- olds.

James Zeller, chair of the university's campaign and vice provost for budgets, said that United Way "remains of utmost importance because we still have individuals out there in the community with need and agencies that need our support."

One agency he cited specifically was the House of Ruth, the domestic violence shelter in Baltimore that requires expanded facilities in order to deal with issues related to overcrowding. "It's one of those tough stories that is hard to accept," Zeller said. "There are a lot of agencies like this out there that do great work but need our help, ones we have to focus on."

Like last year, the campaigns will feature department- and office-level events that seek to educate Johns Hopkins employees on the work of United Way of Central Maryland, which supports human service agencies in Baltimore City and its five surrounding counties.

The university's campaign, which will continue until Dec. 14, will be rolled out by its "ambassadors," selected Johns Hopkins employees who will distribute pledge forms, educate others about United Way and answer questions.

Joanne Pollak, chair of the Johns Hopkins Medicine campaign, said that as part of an effort to increase participation, all pledge forms will be hand delivered, and departments will take part in a "friendly competition" to see who can reach the highest percentage increase in dollars raised and employees participating.

"We're trying to build up some excitement and make participation in United Way more personal," said Pollak, vice president and general counsel for Johns Hopkins Medicine.

For more information on the Johns Hopkins campaigns, go to or contact Matt Smith in the Office of Faculty, Staff and Retiree Programs at 410-516-0345 or


Save the Dates

Saturday, Oct. 27
Community Service: Make a Difference Day benefiting local programs, convening and closing at Our Daily Bread, 19 W. Franklin St., Baltimore, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 29
New Event: Community Block Party to kick off the Homewood United Way campaign, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Levering Plaza. Representatives of community service organizations will explain their programs. $5 donation or free with a completed United Way pledge form or online donation receipt.

Friday, Nov. 30
Lunch Break: Chili Cook-Off, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Glass Pavilion at Homewood. $5.


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