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United Way partner agencies offer perspective

What would you like members of our community to know about United Way?

“Centre County United Way is exceptionally effective at unifying our community’s generosity.”

Bonnie Tatterson, executive director, Community Help Centre

“I don’t think the general public realizes how much it takes to coordinate a fundraiser for what little you end up getting in return. United Way really is a big bang for the buck — for the agencies, for UW, for those that receive the services, for the donor, and for the community.”

Nichol Sheridan, program director, Child Care Information Services

“I think of United Way as providing some order in the utilization of volunteer services and in the distribution of donor funds. In the absence of United Way, the public can be overwhelmed by pleas for money from one worthwhile organization after another. United Way community committees evaluate requests for funds, looking for ways to more efficiently and effectively deliver services.”

Roger Gaumond, Sight-Loss Support Group of Central PA
Are there benefits to United Way partnership status and funding?

“One benefit (of many) to being a United Way partner agency is our ability to form connections with other partner agencies. So often, we have families in need of our services at Easter Seals that are also in need of other supports within the community. Because of our involvement in United Way, I am able to reach out to the other agencies to get them the support they need — food, housing, grief counseling, child care subsidies and more. This helps support our mission of serving the needs of the whole child as well as supporting our mission of collaborating with our families.”

Brandy Prebble, executive director, Easter Seals
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“The United Way provides important funding, while also providing credibility to our organization. This is especially important, as we are a small agency trying to boost our visibility. Because we are a United Way member agency, I believe many people realize this means that we are fiscally responsible, outcomes-focused, and well managed. It also means we’re part of the Centre County human services fabric, always looking to collaborate, partner, and find efficiencies without duplicating services.”

Marc McCann, executive director, Global Connections
Why not just donate to the agency directly — why go through United Way?

“There is little or no accountability when individuals donate money directly to agencies. In addition, smaller, lesser-known agencies such as CACJ struggle for public donations. Through the United Way, we are given the same consideration as more recognized agencies.”

Bonnie Millmore, executive director, Center for Alternatives in Community Justice

“I believe we always find the most power in standing together, rather than alone. CCUW helps our community stay on top of current needs and concerns, helps us plan for the future. It ensures a fair and equitable distribution of funds based on an evaluation of community needs and the success of the programs that agencies offer. In this way, a contribution to CCUW for the agencies it supports goes far beyond the actual dollar amount given.”

Ann Walker, executive director, Child Development & Family Council

“Well-informed donors can certainly contribute directly to a favorite charity, but it is doubtful any one, or handful of organizations, can meet the needs or deal with the complicated myriad of issues our fellow Centre Countians present. The United Way can assist organizations in a unified front to dealing with systemic problems in our communities.”

Brent Frank, executive director, MidPenn Legal Services

For more information about Centre County United Way, visit ccunitedway.org.

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/opinion/article54955995.html#storylink=cpy