Attend a Community Conversation and Share Your Insight About the Issues Facing the Capital Region!
In 2014, United Way of the Capital Region and six community organizations came together to study the quality of life in our hometown. For years prior to the study, our region experienced a steady increase in demand for health and human services. As a community, we wanted to know why and what we could do to improve life for us all. We also wanted to know what local residents thought about the issues.
The study, known as “Life in the Capital Region: 2014 Assessment of Our Community” revealed the hard facts and data about the increase in need in the areas of health, education and income in Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry counties. It also showed the overwhelming interest local people have in being part of positive changes.
Last year, expert community task groups were formed to look at potential solutions and strategies in the following focus areas identified in the assessment:
Thank You United Way Cornerstone Partners
Launched six years ago, United Way of the Capital Region’s Cornerstone Partners program is the only one of its kind in the state, and it is a shining example of generosity in action.
Fourteen of the organization’s largest corporate contributors help underwrite United Way of the Capital Region’s administrative and fundraising costs (13 percent). We also receive support from perpetual trusts and investment income to help provide this program.
As a result, 100 percent of the money United Way of the Capital Region raises and distributes from individual donors in the Capital Region is directed to programs and services that make a difference in our community. This program is popular among donors of all giving levels.
United Way Presents “Best Of” Awards
United Way of the Capital Region recently presented awards to five local companies recognizing campaign coordinators and their teams for outstanding work.
United Way created the “Best of” Awards to recognize the good work of individuals who are instrumental in the success of their company’s employee campaign. Honoring campaign coordinators, teams and companies, the awards celebrate the creativity taking place in the very best workplace campaigns.
Millers Mutual Group received the small size company (5-99 employees) “Best Of” Award. The organization used a sports theme and incentives to bring competition to their campaign and increase employee giving over the previous year. Employees were encouraged to wear their favorite team jersey, hat or T-shirt and participate in sports trivia questions.
Accepting Nominations for Volunteer of the Year Award
Do you know someone who always goes above and beyond when they volunteer?
United Way of the Capital Region’s Volunteer Center is accepting nominations for the Volunteer of the Year and Essence of Humanity awards, which recognize individuals and groups for their outstanding community service in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties.
Volunteer of the Year awards are presented in the following categories:
- Youth – individual nominees, 17 years-of-age or younger
- Adults – individual nominees, 18 years-of-age or older
- Groups – groups of volunteers, any age
- Founder’s Award – outstanding volunteer leadership
Free Tax Preparation for Working Families
Low- to moderate-income working families can receive free tax preparation services January 28 - 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.
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 tax credits. This year, people who earned wages of less than $54,000 may be eligible for assistance.
United Way Raises More Than $11.2 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 $11.1 million by raising $11,263,220 to help local people in need. United Way made this announcement recently at its Celebration Reception sponsored by gold sponsors Fulton Bank and The JDK Group and silver sponsor Saul Ewing.
“To surpass our goal in this fundraising environment speaks volumes about the good people of the Capital Region,” said 2015 Campaign Chair Jennifer Delaye, CEO of the JDK Group. “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, many going above and beyond our expectations in their support. I couldn’t be more proud of our collective work.”
“This has been one of the most challenging fundraising environments in my career,” said Timothy B. Fatzinger, United Way of the Capital Region president and CEO. “Needs continue to skyrocket, at the same time the corporate landscaping is changing dramatically making it more difficult to raise funds to solve local problems. All along our focus has been on our community and raising the necessary funds to help those in need.”
What do we aspire for the Capital Region? Recently, our United Way has been asking this question of ourselves and our friends and neighbors. We’re finding that our vision for the community is far more similar than different. We all want a strong and vibrant region where everyone has the resources they need for a good life.
Think about what it takes to have a quality life. Good health for you and your family, steady income that provides stability, education for a better future and the knowledge that if an emergency happens, you have some place to turn. Health, education, income and basic needs - this is what we call the building blocks for a better life.
Last year, our United Way began changing the way to do work because we want to help more people achieve these building blocks. We want to work together as a community to address the root causes of an issue before they grow into problems. We understand that no one organization can solve the problems in our region, but together we can develop lasting solutions.
United Way Identifies Areas of Focus, Embarks on Second Phase of Strategic Vision
United Way of the Capital Region recently completed the first phase of its strategic vision. As part of this effort, our board of directors recently approved critical areas of focus to drive our work for the coming years. These include:
- Education – Disparities in school readiness and school achievement.
- Health – Lack of access to health care.
- Income – Children and families living in poverty.
- Basic Needs – Increase in the number of families needing safety net services.
United Way of the Capital Region determined these areas after a year-long community assessment process with six partner organizations. “Life in the Capital Region: 2014 Assessment of Our Community” examined the changing demographics and health and human service needs through the lens of health, education, income and basic needs.
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.