As a part of the Schneider Downs United Way of Allegheny County Committee in our Pittsburgh office, I had the pleasure of attending the annual Celebration Luncheon at the Westin Convention Center in Pittsburgh. We were honored as one of the Top 100 Campaigns, by total dollars raised, in the area. In 2012, we raised an impressive $91,116 for our community. The committee puts a lot of work into designing and hosting events, games and fundraising efforts to present to our employees, who in turn, participate and donate their time and money to making the campaign such a great success.
I could focus on the creativity and efforts of our employees; however, I’d like to point out what the United Way truly does for our community. The United Way’s mission statement states that they strive to “create long-lasting change and help children and youth succeed, strengthen and support families by promoting financial stability, ensure the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable seniors, and provide county-wide access to information and referral sources meeting basic needs.” Each initiative highlighted at the luncheon touched upon a unique piece of the overall mission statement.
The Money in Your Pocket Coalition is a collaboration of tax professionals who volunteer their time to prepare taxes for low-income, working families. In 2012, 147 volunteers provided more than 6,357 hours to help families process almost 6,400 returns. Families taking part in this initiative were able to receive money that they may have otherwise spent on a paid tax-preparation professional. Are you a tax professional who has a couple of hours to volunteer?
The Open Your Heart to a Senior program is a great alternative to the companionship provided in a nursing home. Seniors who choose to remain in their homes independently can take part in this program and live safely and comfortably in their homes. In 2012, 2,221 seniors relied on volunteers to remain independent, increased from 2011’s 1,764 volunteers. Do you want to help a senior remain independent and create a lasting relationship?
The Be 1 in a Million campaign just finished up its second year of a three-year campaign. It is part of a national effort to recruit a million volunteer tutors, mentors and early-grade readers in schools. So far, the Be 1 in a Million campaign has recruited 2,000 individuals and has committed to recruiting 4,000. That means Be 1 in a Million needs 2,000 new volunteers in 2013. Can you be one of the remaining 2,000 tutors, mentors or readers that Be 1 in a Million needs?
United for Women is one of the newest United Way initiatives. The Women’s Leadership Council recognized, “there was more that could be done to assist the specific population of newly struggling women who are one step away from crisis.” The initiative was launched this past September and strives to support women and their families and assist in a better future. Can you relate to a woman in a time of need and struggle?
Be a 6th Grade Mentor is the biggest mentoring project in the region’s history. The program places mentors in ten Pittsburgh Public Schools and assists students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. In 2012, the program’s third year, 412 mentors worked with middle school students. There are middle school students who still need a mentor; can you be a mentor to one of these students?
The United Way strives to help everyone in our community. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in volunteering with a United Way initiative, visit the United Way’s Volunteer Page. There are multiple positions open in the initiatives listed above, plus many others.
Congratulations and thank you to all of the individuals and companies that gave their time and donated to the United Way of Allegheny County in 2012. Thanks to you, the United Way of Allegheny County raised over $33 million. To learn more about the United Way of Allegheny County and the success of 2012, flip through their Annual Report. Lastly, on behalf of Schneider Downs, we would like to thank and send our best wishes to Mr. Art Rooney II for the past six years of his time and dedication serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors, and congratulate the new Chair of the Board of Directors, CEO of Peoples Natural Gas, Mr. Morgan O’Brien.
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