Investments – Who do you trust?
Lydia Birk, 2014 UWAC Campaign Chair
The air waves are filled with commercials regarding which investment firm you should rely on; after all, you want to eventually retire and live comfortably and healthy and maintain your lifestyle. Yet, how much do you personally know about investing; the timing, the company’s track records, transparency, can they be trusted? There is an overload of information spinning around and for many of us, it is confusing and time consuming, so we trust our investments to the professionals.
Those of you who donated to the United Way of Anderson County and check the box to have Fund Distribution Volunteers make investment decisions are doing the same thing. Trusting educated, informed, committed people to invest your dollars where they will do the most good. In Anderson County, we have a multitude of programs that serve the needs of youth through food programs, backpack programs, afterschool programs, pre-school programs, utility assistance so they don’t shiver at night, programs to inspire, to encourage, to challenge. And programs that address the mental and physical health of our youth. Which of these programs are most effective, which ones address the most pressing issues, which ones are transparent in managing your gifts, do you chose to put a roof over their heads or food in their bellies?
Informed community investment is United Way of Anderson County’s strength. We’ve done it for 57 years and we know what to look for, what questions to ask and how to balance the various needs that exist. We refer to this as the Fund Distribution Process. Our 32 agencies are divided across six panels, each panel addressing a particular issue such as the needs of seniors, at-risk youth, mental and physical health. Each panel is made up of five to six volunteers, people just like you, who review each agency and their programs’ goals and outcomes, their finances, their audits, their staffing and their fiscal and business management skills. After all, a non-profit business is a business that does not make a profit, yet provides an important community service using community investments.
The panel volunteers will review all the data and then make site visits where they meet the staff, tour the facilities, meet service recipients, and validate the material in the funding application. Once that is complete, the panelists come back together to discuss needs of the various services, the strengths of the agency, the outcomes of their programs. In business terms, it’s called ROI – Return on Investment. And remember, these investments, like your financial investments will impact your future and your ability to live comfortably and healthy and maintain your lifestyle. These investments are investments in the health of our whole community.
If you have already invested in UWAC this year, thank you. If not, it is not too late, you still can donate. And if you want to be part of the panels that evaluate the programs serving Anderson County, you can do that as well. UWAC is still seeking your time, talent and treasure. We invite you to call UWAC’s Rick Morrow at 483-8431 and become a fund distribution panelist. You will only invest 10 – 12 hours of your time and you will come away feeling blessed, encouraged and hopeful for our future.
If you wish to make a financial pledge, it may be made directly to United Way of Anderson County by calling 865-483-4831 or mailing to P.O Box 4158, Oak Ridge, TN, 37831-4158. United Way of Anderson County works to make significant and measurable differences in our community by focusing our support three critical service areas: enabling seniors to live with honor; developing our youth; and providing and meeting basic human needs for all of those we serve.
For your convenience you can now pay online!!
United Way of Anderson County Campaign Video Link
Produced In Kind by Keith McDaniel, Secret City Films
What can you do with a dollar? It’s not enough for a cup of coffee, pack of gum or even enough for a soda from a machine anymore. A dollar a week in the hands of UWAC community partners can change lives. “Our community partners are so efficient with their allocations. They are able to use grants, leveraging, matching and such resourceful strategies to serve more with less.” says, Eric Abelquist, UWAC Fund Distribution Chair. Have a look at what your dollars can do in the hands of UWAC’s Community Partners:
$1 per week ($52 year) can provide:
• 32 hours of after school programming for girls in Clinton with Girls Inc.
• 3 families provided garden supplies to grow $1400 of food from Green Thumb
• 3 families provided with furnishings by the Ecumenical Storehouse
$2 per week (approximately $100 per year) can provide:
• 5 children take part in the “Skills for the Future” program at Children’s Museum
• 2 children can participate in the ARC’s summer playground for children with
• 2 people receive the Kidney Early Evaluation Program from National Kidney Foundation
$5 per week (approximately $250 per year) can provide:
• 3 youth can participate in the Boys & Girls Club of the Clinch Valley Educational/Social Program
• 1 child receives the support and advocacy in the court system by Court Appointed
Special Advocates (CASA)
• 1 child with Epilepsy can attend camp for a week
If you already give to United Way, THANK YOU, if not, please consider the difference your dollar(s) can make. Together, we can touch lives and create lasting change in our community.
UWAC and its 32 community partners with 50 vital programs address three core needs of our community: Basic Human needs, Youth Development, and the Needs of Seniors.
See other examples of how far your $'s can go!