1. WHAT IS THE UNITED WAY?
The United Way is us. Together, we are a group of contributors, care-giving agencies, and the people they serve organized to meet the basic health and community service needs that survive through voluntary contributions. The annual United Way campaign raises money for participating agencies through the efforts of more than 500 volunteers, making it possible to provide vital services by saving the costs of separate community-wide fund raising appeals.
2. WHO RUNS THE UNITED WAY?
The United Way is governed by a Board of Directors who oversees the general operation of United Way by establishing and maintaining appropriate policies and procedures. Each member is a resident of our community.
3. WHAT ARE THE MAIN ADVANTAGES OF THE UNITED WAY?
Working with the United Way eliminates waste by combing appeals for agencies in one efficient campaign, freeing more of your dollars for human care services. It saves volunteer time both in raising and administering funds. It relieves trained agency personnel of fund-raising responsibilities, enabling them to devote full time to rendering human care services. It provides donors an opportunity to budget their giving by requesting only one contribution a year. It distributes funds fairly and properly in accordance with needs.
4. WHO BENEFITS FROM THE UNITED WAY?
The ill. The homeless. The handicapped. The abused. The elderly. The neglected. The young. The disadvantaged.
5. I HEARD OF SOMEONE WHO WAS REFUSED HELP. DOES THIS EVER
Such occurrences are rare. No one in need is ever deliberately turned away from any of the United Way sponsored agencies. If you hear of a complaint about a United Way agency, please report it immediately to United Way headquarters. It will be checked and a complete report given to you. One of the cornerstones of United Way is full accountability of member agencies to the contributors who support them. If you know of someone who is in need of help and doesn’t know which agency to call, ask them to call the United Way Office 723-9113. We can refer them to the agency that can best serve their needs, and we will follow-up to make sure they actually receive the needed services.
6. MANY CHARITABLE CAMPAIGNS HAVE “EXCESSIVE” FUND-RAISING COSTS. HOW ABOUT UNITED WAY?
This year our Campaign and Administrative Expenses are approximate 16 cents of every dollar. Your United Way Board of Contributors is your guarantee that your dollar will go further. By comparison, the national average for fund raising cost is 30 cents on the dollar.
7. WHO PAYS FOR THE LUNCHEONS YOU HAVE, AND ARE YOUR
All United Way luncheons are paid for by the volunteers attending or are sponsored by community-minded businesses. United Way volunteers are not paid. Their only compensation is the satisfaction of knowing they have helped make our community a better place to live.
8. SOME UNITED WAY AGENCIES CHARGE FOR THEIR SERVICES. IF THIS IS SO, WHY SHOULD I GIVE ONLY TO BE CHARGED WHEN I NEED HELP?
No one should be denied services from a United Way agency because he or she cannot afford to pay for the required services. Some agencies ask those who can afford, to pay part of the direct costs of the services they receive. This stretches your United Way dollars as far as possible and allows even more people to get help.
9. WHY AREN’T ALL CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS PART OF THE UNITED WAY?
Some believe they can raise more money by going directly to you. Other organizations are members of national agencies whose policy is one of non-affiliation with United Way. In addition, all United Way agencies measure up to the standards for membership in United Way, such as annual reviews of services, income expenditures and board membership. Occasionally, agencies apply for membership, but United Way lacks the funds to support them. Everyone giving their fair share would enable United Way to include the majority of the agencies seeking membership.
10. I DON’T BELIEVE ANYONE SHOULD TELL ME HOW MUCH TO GIVE. I RESENT IT! The United Way does not presume to tell anyone how much they should give. Giving should be voluntary and the amount contributed should be dictated strictly by each contributor’s financial capability and ones own sense of community responsibility. The Suggested Giving Guide shows what other people are giving to the United Way; it is provided only to assist you in determining your own gift.
11. MY SPOUSE GIVES. WHY SHOULD I?
Your spouse’s gift is based on his or her income, not on your combined income. Each of us should be willing to show our faith and concern for others as our individual conscience and financial ability permits.
12. I DO NOT HAVE A PAYROLL DEDUCTION PLAN WHERE I WORK. CAN I STILL PAY MY PLEDGE IN INSTALLMENTS?
Yes, bank draft or credit card. Call the United Way office for more information.
13. SUPPOSE I DON’T LIKE AN AGENCY. CAN I MAKE SURE THAT MY MONEY GOES TO THE AGENCIES I DO LIKE?
You can designate where your money will go. Keep in mind, though, that United Way is extremely careful to ensure that agencies admitted to membership contribute to the overall needs of our community.
14. SORRY, BUT I PLAN TO CONTRIBUTE MY MONEY TO THE PRESERVE THE DINOSAUR FUND.
That’s wonderful. Many people are concerned about the same problem, as well as other serious problems in our country and around the world. However, we have problems right here at home, and United Way is helping many of our friends and neighbors receive the services they so desperately need. If we don’t take care of our own problems, who do you think should, or will?
15. WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE UNITED WAY OF LAREDO OR ANY OF IT’S FUNDED AGENCIES?
Please feel free to call Ms. Peggy Duncan, Executive Director, at (956) 723-9113 or any member of the Executive Committee.