11-14-2012 01:01PM Kari Boisvert
The largest charity in the U.S. by donations ($3.9 billion last year) United Way has a built-in efficiency edge, since 57% of its donations come through payroll withholding and another 20% from corporate donations. Still, when CEO Brian Gallagher took over a decade ago, the sprawling organization was recovering from a nasty scandal (a previous CEO went to jail) and suffering from a lack of focus (it was simply sprinkling money around to every group). Gallagher has turned what was a “loose confederation” into something more akin to a global franchise operation, with 1,800 chapters worldwide, including 1,200 in the U.S. The domestic chapters, and later foreign affiliates, were required to agree to independent review boards, audits and limits on marketing tactics. “Just as McDonald’s would, we needed to ask ourselves, where do we have to be consistent and where do we allow innovation on the ground?” says Gallagher. U.S. chapters now pay 1% of funds raised to the parent organization. About a quarter of what United Way takes in domestically is directed by donors to other charities. Money that stays with United Way is now used for one of three focus areas: education, income and health (particularly obesity prevention).
06-21-2012 03:00PM Kari Boisvert
The Summer Reading Backpack project of 2012 was a great success! Setting a goal of 400 books in May was first challenged by my granddaughter McKenzie, who thought we should try for 1000. As the books started pouring in, we soon realized that we would be doubling McKenzie’s challenge and then some. When all was said and done, on June 16th, we had filled about 250 backpacks and bags with about 2500 books. The books were anything from simple board books for preschoolers to full volumes of Harry Potter, the Goosebumps series, and everything in between. Some of the books were I had read over 40 years ago, and some were fresh off the press it seemed.
Corporations and businesses such as Desert Valleys FCU and Holland and Lyons Mortuary, as well as the Police Employees Association of Ridgecrest donated money or books and backpacks, and many locations had collection spots for their employees and guests.
It has been so wonderful to see the spirit of giving that has been abundant during these weeks; it truly confirms that the IWV abbreviation for Indian Wells Valley should be changed to I Will Volunteer. 25 people came to help pack the books in the backpacks Saturday June 16th, and before that many volunteer hours were spent sewing book bags, sorting the books into age groups, etc.
I want to thank all who helped, donated and volunteered. We are planning on doing this again next year, and hope we will get the same response then as this year.
05-30-2012 10:59PM Kari Boisvert
June 16th @ 9am-12pm we hope to have a good crowd of people gathered together to put books in backpacks for children who don’t have good access to books over the summer. In the days up till then we are collecting new and slightly used books suitable for children age 5-14. We are also looking for backpacks, be they new, slightly used, etc. We can also use book bags, or other vessels to carry he books in.
Can you help? Can you search in your closets, your kids closets, any place that backpacks from last year, the year before, and so on are hiding. They are usually still in good shape, but they are not hip and modern, so we buy a new backpack for junior. Well United Way can make good use of those backpacks, so bring them to us and make a child happy.
And make sure you come to the “backpackpacking” event in the Great Room upstairs in the Crossroads Community Church.
Thank you all for your willingness to share and serve. There is always a need
05-30-2012 10:37PM Kari Boisvert
Again this year we sat down to good food at the Awards Luncheon celebrated at Carriage Inn. We were able to look into the world of a Girl Scout and all that she learns that can help her in her future life. Cathy Ferguson, CEO of Girl Scouts Central California South shared the story of how she, by being save from drowning decided what she wanted to do, and she became an Olympic medal winner, and went on to share her experiences in life. Jamie Gallagher talked about the changes that are coming with the new buildings and programs for China Lake Museum. It was interesting to see the way the community will be involved and that there will be special programs for children. We look forward to that.
We also had some special awards to hand out, First we presented Largest Contribution from Employees only:
Bronze went to AltaOne Federal Credit Union, Silver went to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and the winner of the GOLD award was presented to Indian Wells Valley Water District whose employees had contributed the most in the 2011 Campaign.
The next category was Largest Total Contribution from Employees and Corporation. There were only two awards in this category, Silver went to TYBRIN, and “The Rocl” went to DCS Corporation. DCS has received this award many years in a row, and we are very grateful for their enthusiasm and willingness to give.
The last award to be presented was the Special Member Agency Award. It is the agency that has received the most pledges and donations during the 2011 Campaign. It is an indicator of the donor’s awareness of the ageny’s needs. Bronze in this category went to the American Cancer Society. Silver went to Women’s Center – High Desert, and Gold was awarded to Southern Sierra Boys and Girls Club for the second year in a row. “The Cactus Rose” is the trophy that will be on display in the Boys and Girls Club’s building on Warner St.
We are proud of our agencies, the work they do and the volunteers that give of their time and talents. We hope we can continue to support them with the help of our donors. Remember, Give Locally, Help Locally
05-26-2011 11:22AM Kari Boisvert
On May 3rd member agency representatives and representatives of our many donors met at the Carriage Inn to celebrate and thank those who contribute through their work and their funds.
Jennifer Keep, campaign coordinator at IWV Water District talked about the campaign at her workplace and how the employers and employees work together to raise funds for the community. Jo Lish from the American Cancer Society talked about the work they do, and what services cancer patients, survivors, and family members can receive.
The following awards were given;
Largest Corporate Donation: Tybrin Corporation (gold), L-3 Communications (silver)
Largest Total Contribution from Employees Only (49 or fewer employees): IWV Water District (gold), Enterprise Rent-A-Car (silver), AltaOne Federal Credit Union (bronze).
Total Contribution from Employees & Corporation (49 or fewer employees): Tybrin Corporation
Total Contribution from Employees Only (50 or more employees): DCS Corporation (gold), Jacobs Engineering (silver), Supervalu (Albertson) (bronze).
Largest Total Contribution from Employees and Corporations (50 or more employees) “The Rock”, went to DCS Corporation. “The Rock” is a perpetual award, and DCS has taken it back to their offices the third time in a row. We are very grateful for the employees at this and all the other offices in our area who contribute so generously to our local campaign.
Special Member Agency Award. Southern Sierra Boys & Girls Club were recipient of the Total Largest Designations from the United Way Campaign this year. The “Cactus Rose” truly symbolizes the protection and care given to these young people while they are involved with this agency, and United Way were happy to see them take the statue with them for display for a year.
Two of the Board of Director members will be stepping off the Board this year, and they were recognized for their long and faithful service. Linda Eberhart for six years on the Board, in part serving as interim President, and as Vice-President/Secretary. Gino LaMarca had served 25 years in all capacities on the Board, and has been an invaluable asset to all who have been able to work with him.
We look forward to a new campaign and thank all who have and will contribute in one way or another.