Baldwin’s United Way campaign lacking financially
The Baldwin City goal for the Douglas County United Way campaign is continuing to come up short. With only weeks left in the campaign, Baldwin chairman Paul Vander Tuig answered questions regarding the effort.
Q. What is the status of the United Way campaign in Baldwin?
A. Well, the sign on the west side of town, unfortunately, is pretty accurate. We are currently at 24 percent of our goal of $15,615. The overall campaign for the county is currently at 36 percent of its goal, but the last three weeks of any campaign is always going to be important as people are pressed to act against a deadline.
Q. Can Baldwin meet it's goal?
A. I don't know. We've got about three weeks left in the campaign. I know that the Baker drive is still on-going and they are always very important to the campaign as is the school district. I think another mailing is being sent, but we don't have everyone on a list, so individuals have to be a little self motivated to in many cases to donate. Forms are still available at the Baldwin Athletic Club and Santa Fe Market.
Q. Why do you think the numbers are down?
A. There could be many explanations for that.
One, I know that there are some cases where past givers have moved and we have a bad address or no address for letters. Two, we all know the economy has been a little sluggish this past year. Three, there is still time for the last-minute givers, and some who have given generously in the past haven't "checked in" yet or are giving elsewhere. Lastly, and this is one that I want to focus on people still aren't aware of the benefits Baldwin residents receive from the United Way.
Q. If someone doesn't get your letter, how can they help?
A. Again, call the United Way at 785-843-6626 or stop by the two locations in Baldwin and pick up a form. Another interesting item is that if you live in Baldwin, but commute and work in another county, it is still possible to designate payroll deductions to the Douglas County campaign. You just need to talk to your human resources or payroll manager for the correct form but you have to do it not assume you can't since you don't work in Douglas County.
Q. Tell me again about why you think the United Way is so important to Baldwin.
A. Basically, any social service administered by the UW has participation from Baldwin residents. I'll give you some specific examples:
One Last year, the Rape Victim Survivor Services (RVSS) staff made presentations to the seventh graders at BJHS. They covered issues like bullying, sexual harassment and respect for others. RVSS Staff reported that the discussion and energy of the Baldwin students was very evident. As a father myself, knowing that these educational programs and qualified staff people are doing this kind of this is awesome. Like me, I just don't think people are aware that this kind of programming requires funding, and United Way is the mechanism to make it possible.
Another example: The Douglas County Child Development Association (DCCDA) has the goal of assisting home child care providers. There are 17 home care providers in Baldwin that were assisted by this agency last year.
Third example: DCCDA also assists parents in finding child care providers by being a resource and referral service. Last year, 31 families from Baldwin called to get help finding child care through this UW agency.
It could go on and on.
Q. What can be done in the last 2.5/3 weeks to make our goal?
A. A typical response might be to try to rally all the businesses in town, but really, this is an individual and personal "giving" decision. While the chamber members and businesses are vital to our campaign I'd like to challenge everyone to just think about the reasons Baldwin is such a great place to live, work and go to school. Within those reasons, I think collectively, we receive the benefit directly or indirectly of our kids or community members being able to take advantage of services like the United Way provides us all.
If the American Red Cross provides free CPR training and one life is saved in Baldwin because of it, or a rape is prevented, or a family finds suitable child care, doesn't that help all of us and our quality of life?
I'd just like to ask everyone one last time to think about all the things we take for granted and see if there is a way to help the campaign in a great or small way.