Bad economic times is not the most promising season for a significant fundraising pledge drive, but it is the scheduled time for our United Way campaign. And I was asked by the United Way board to serve as honorary chairman.
“What does that mean that I do?”
My question was answered, “You don’t have to go out and solicit pledges, but do support the campaign and United Way.”
Thank goodness that I’m not expected to return to the telephone and knocking on doors which I have done for many organizations over the years. And I have always supported United Way.
So, I made a short presentation at United Way Kick-off Lunch on their Day of Caring; that’s like “preaching to the choir” because those people were already showing their commitment.
Now I am scheduled to do the same thing at the board of commissioner’s meeting this week; they, too, are more than likely to view United Way very favorably.
So, if you were at either of those events, you can skip my column this week. Otherwise, please read on.
The theme of my remarks focus on what I, as a supporter, learned during the years I served on the United Way allocations committee.
Perhaps my readers may also be made aware of the significance of an organization’s being accepted under the United Way umbrella. How does a group be so accepted?
First of all, they must ask; they fill out lengthy and specific application forms; their representatives appear before the allocations committee to outline their request, the reason for it, and to answer questions.
There are specific criteria to be met, and those on the committee had opportunity to study their reports and to prepare questions. It is not a simple process.
What are the advantages of being part of United Way?
After all, whatever money they are allocated is only a small part of their budget; they must still apply for grants, hold fundraisers, and seek private donations.
But, being able to display the United Way logo means that they have been “vetted” and will continue to have some oversight. It says to the community that they are responsible and reliable — and if that is not the case, they will be dropped.
Contributing to United Way does not mean that we won’t be asked to donate to other worthy organizations; all the needs bases are not covered. But a contribution does help to under gird a number of needed and desirable assets to our community.
Monetary contributions are indeed required if we have assets such as CASA, Scouts, 4-H, NOA, Family Connection and many other non-profit organizations.
But, volunteers are just as necessary, and, as I have articulated, often it is easier to give money than give of ourselves.
Actually, none of the groups can function without individuals willing to give their time, talent and effort. Although there are never enough volunteers, Dawson County is fortunate to have a number of people willing to do just that.
Such giving helps guarantee that our slogan is more than just words: we are indeed a community “where quality of life matters.”
Helen Taylor’s column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.