Giving is always a choice & you have options when you give. Yes, you can opt to designate (restrict) your dollars to a specific agency, however here are 4 reasons to give an undesignated gift which goes to the Community Fund:
Scope: It supports a collective impact effort, with invested dollars strategically allocated to a variety of organizations, programs, and partnerships that work together toward better health, education, and financial stability for local residents.
United Way funds a continuum of services so that the needs of the whole person/family can be met. i.e. you help a child and their parent; you help someone find a job and help them with day care. The whole community benefits.
Oversight: United Way convenes community leaders to research needs, select the most effective approach to creating solutions, and identify programs best qualified to do the work. Fund distribution is a volunteer-led process.
Reach: By giving through United Way, donors can make a difference on a wide variety of local issues. United Way's broad reach touches lives of our neighbors and people whose lives we can only begin to imagine. (In Mid Coast Maine, 1 in 5 residents were helped by a United Way-funded program in 2015)
Leverage: Your gift has a huge impact when pooled with those of other donors. United Way leverages volunteer power, donor dollars, and community resources to create long-lasting change.
It’s About Controlling Yourself – Not Others
With a group of kindergartners, Meg talks about ways to calm down and control themselves –not others. Kids all across Mid Coast Maine are receiving positive messages of healthy relationship building from New Hope for Women’s classroom presentations.
Grades K-12 are challenged and encouraged to explore their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in age-appropriate ways. The youngest discuss how hands are not for hitting; the older students learn about dating violence. In between, there are conversations about respecting differences, dealing with conflicts and disagreements, and exploring healthy vs. unhealthy friendships.
When violence is present in a school, NHFW develops specific programs for the groups involved. Sometimes kids need concrete ways to calm themselves down so they can process feelings. A School-Based Advocate will introduce kids to a toolkit which includes ways of identifying what it feels like when we start getting upset.
This information comes from a conversation Becky had with Meg Klingelhofer, New Hope's Community Education Director.