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FAQ

Who runs the Centre County United Way?
The Centre County United Way is led by a board of directors, and hundreds of active volunteers who help the organization set goals, organize fundraising efforts, solicit gifts, and budget and distribute funds. There is a paid staff of four who implement the wishes of the organization.

What are United Way funds used for?
Centre County United Way funds help provide vital services to the people of Centre County. On the average, the Centre County United Way supports only a small percentage of agency budgets, and in many instances, Centre County United Way funds are used as “matching funds.” This means federal and state funds may be provided as a match or in some proportion to the amount of community dollars contributed. Centre County United Way encourages agencies to become self-supporting so that the money collected from the community can be used to solve new and expanding problems within the community.

Do my tax dollars take care of all those health and social needs?
No, They Don’t. Since the mid-30’s, federal tax dollars have been funneled to provide certain categories of help. Generally, these programs are direct sustenance programs, like food and shelter. Centre County United Way supported agencies provide a whole range of services beyond sustenance; to keep families together or care for children at risk. In some cases, arrangements can be worked out between Centre County United Way agencies and tax supported programs. For example, frequently Centre County United Way dollars are matched with tax dollars to provide for human services.

Why should I contribute, if I don’t use the agencies?
Because you are helping others who cannot afford to pay for services they or their families need. And because you may need the services of one of the agencies sometime in the future.
* In this way, your contribution is like buying insurance against some personal mishap. It’s almost impossible to predict that we won’t need a few United Way agencies in our lifetime.

Why do some agencies charge fees? What if I can’t afford to pay?
The total costs of services provided by the Centre County United Way agencies is more than twice the amount raised by the Centre County United Way in the Annual Campaign. Thus, nearly all agencies charge for services on a sliding scale basis. Clients who can afford to pay – do so. Those who can afford to pay only part are charged a lower rate (with United Way dollars making up the difference); and others pay nothing. This preserves the self-respect of all.

Are United Way agencies just for the poor?
No. Monies contributed to Centre County United Way are distributed where they will do the most good for the entire community. Partner agencies’ services are aimed at helping all people, no matter what their income level. Perhaps you, a member in your family, or one of your neighbors or co-workers have benefited from the services provided with Centre County United Way funding. The Centre County United Way funds agencies that provide day care to children of working parents, health and safety courses, adoption services, and youth leadership programs, in addition to emergency services like food and shelter.