United Way Awards Giant Gift Cards to Lucky Winner
United Way of the Capital Region recently awarded Nationwide employee Patty Sarno with $1,500 in Giant gift cards.
Sarno, of Harrisburg, won the prize because she donated $156 or more to United Way of the Capital Region’s 2014 fundraising campaign.
This year, donors who gave $156 or more to United Way’s campaign were eligible to win one of four prizes: a 2015 Chevrolet Sonic, donated by Sutliff Chevrolet; a $2,000 gift card from Wolf Furniture; a $1,500 getaway courtesy of AAA Central Penn; and $1,500 in groceries donated by Giant Food Stores.
Joseph M. Capita Spirit of the Capital Region Award
United Way of the Capital Region is accepting nominations for the Joseph M. Capita Spirit of the Capital Region Award. The award will be granted to an exceptional community partner or citizen for superlative acts of community engagement. The nominee must make an outstanding and measurable impact in the areas of health and education, and better our regional community by addressing basic needs.
The award was created to honor the work of Joe Capita who served as United Way of the Capital Region’s president and CEO from 1995 to 2013. The culmination of Joe’s career of service led to significant accomplishments for the organization and community. United Way looks forward to granting this award to a worthy nominee in May at United Way’s Annual Luncheon. The deadline for nominations is April 7.
Returning Client Praises Money In Your Pocket Tax Program
For the past four years, Vera of Harrisburg has received tax preparation help from the Money In Your Pocket program, a community collaboration of organizations dedicated to helping low- to moderate-income working families better utilize state and federal tax credit programs.
Vera works in downtown Harrisburg. She began using the Money In Your Pocket program because there is a location close to her work and near the bus route that she uses to get to and from her job.
“I come back year after year because the volunteers are friendly and knowledgeable,” said Vera. “They make it easy and convenient. I’ve even recommended this program to other people.”
A single mother, Vera knows exactly how she plans to use her refund.
“My daughter will be starting college in the fall and I want to help her as much as I can,” said Vera.
Life in the Capital Region: 2014 Assessment of Our Community
For the last five years, there has been a steady increase in the demand for health and human service programs in the Capital Region. To identify and understand the needs in our community, United Way of the Capital Region formed a partnership with the Harrisburg Regional Chamber, Perry County, West Shore Chamber of Commerce, Cumberland County, Dauphin County and The Foundation for Enhancing Communities. Throughout 2014, this partnership conducted a comprehensive assessment of life in our community, which captured data about trends in health and human service needs, as well as community perceptions about issues facing the Capital Region. The result is a unique and comprehensive look at our community.
“Life in the Capital Region: 2014 Assessment of Our Community,” was released on March 5, 2015.
Bridges Society Members Volunteer with Downey Elementary Students
More than 30 volunteers and United Way of the Capital Region Bridges Society members recently spent two mornings chaperoning third-grade children on field trips at Barnes and Noble book store in Camp Hill.
The children, all from Downey Elementary School, part of Harrisburg School District, were paired with chaperones to complete scavenger hunts around the store and to pick out a book to take home. The books were purchased thanks to Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
The Bridges Society adopted Downey Elementary School to help improve students’ literacy skills. Members also have the opportunity to read to children during or after school, as well as collect books for classroom libraries.
Free Tax Preparation for Low-Income Families
Low- to moderate-income families can receive free tax preparation services January 29 - April 15 at sites in Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry counties.
The effort is part of the Money In Your Pocket Campaign, a community collaboration of organizations committed to the economic stability of local families. The program aims to increase use of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Child Tax Credit (CTC).
The EITC is a tax refund offered by the federal government to supplement wages for low-income workers. This year, people who earned wages of less than $53,000 can increase their federal income tax refunds by as much as $5,000, depending on their individual circumstances.
Volunteers will prepare computerized, electronic returns through the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Tax Income Assistance (VITA) program, which is designed to provide low-income families with help completing federal and state returns, and obtaining rebates.
For the fourth year in a row, MIYP will also offer free assisted and unassisted tax preparation. More information about these options, view our Money In Your Pocket page on our website.
United Way Raises More Than $12 Million to Help Our Community
Thanks to the generosity of our local community, United Way of the Capital Region has exceeded its campaign goal of $11,950,000 million by raising $12,020,175. This marks the 18th consecutive year the organization has exceeded its campaign goal. United Way made this announcement at its Celebration Reception at the Hilton in Harrisburg on January 15.
“To achieve the $12 million mark speaks volumes about the good people of the Capital Region,” said 2014 Campaign Chair Sharon Ryan, president of Dasher Services, Inc. “People want to make a difference in our community and they see United Way as the way to do it. When we asked for support during this campaign, individuals and companies stepped up to the plate. I couldn’t be more proud of our collective work.”
“Fundraising is never an easy job,” said Timothy B. Fatzinger, United Way of the Capital Region president and CEO. “The environment is becoming more challenging as many companies begin to modify their campaigns and approaches to corporate giving.”
Moving our Mission Forward Through Collective Impact
In 2013, United Way of the Capital Region completed an intensive and thorough strategic planning process. We looked at changes in the community, talked to program partners, business leaders, donors, volunteers, government leaders and people working in the areas of health, education and basic needs.
More than 1,900 people responded to our surveys and many attended focus groups. Through this process we learned that for far too many people, life in the Capital Region is not getting better.
- One in seven children lives in poverty.
- One in seven young people don’t graduate from high school.
- The income gap continues to increase resulting in a shrinking middle class.
- Needs continue to increase while government resources decrease.