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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University September 7, 2004 | Vol. 34 No. 2
United Way Chairs Set JHI 2004 Goal at $2,459,900

Martha Hill, head of the university campaign, and Patricia Brown and Martin Abeloff, co-chairs for Johns Hopkins Medicine

Central Maryland area campaign refocuses on health and human services

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

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 time.

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 organization.

"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 more of.

"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 participation."

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 here."

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, go to


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