Photo courtesy of United Way of Whatcom County
If you know anything about charities you have probably heard of United Way. Over the course of the 20th century this charitable organization has become deeply rooted in communities across Washington and the United States. Because United Way recognizes that local problems need local solutions, each branch independently develops programs that best suit the needs of the communities they serve. Every United Way throughout Washington goes above and beyond to support our communities statewide, but today the spotlight shines in particular on United Way of Whatcom County.
For over 50 years, United Way of Whatcom County has played a fundamental role in community-building. This important charity believes that lasting solutions require active engagement from the grassroots level and has made their mission “to increase the organized capacity for individuals in Whatcom County to care for one another.” They are currently galvanizing support for three major social issues: Education, Income, and Health. Increasing high-school graduation rates, helping support low-income families, and expanding affordable access to basic health care services are all specific goals on which they are focused. To meet their ambitious goals, United Way of Whatcom County rallies local charitable organizations, rounds up volunteers, organizes fundraising events and opportunities, and advocates awareness. They are dynamic and innovative, but also realistic when brainstorming methods to tackle these important social issues.
United Way of Whatcom County is committed to transparency and good governance, which is why they are incorporated and administered by a group of local volunteers. Another volunteer committee of 40 to 60 individuals oversees the allocation of United Way’s Safety Net Fund by conducting an in-depth analysis of community needs and deciding how donor dollars are to be best invested. Last year alone the Safety Net Fund impacted the lives of over 150,000 people in Whatcom County. The funds were put towards teaching critical preparatory skills to over 3,000 children, helping over 15,000 people acquire housing and other basic goods, and assisting over 55,000 people in gaining access to essential health services. These incredible numbers provide a great example of the huge impact charitable giving has on Washington communities and speaks to the effectiveness of United Way of Whatcom County’s efforts.
Another of United Way of Whatcom County’s fantastic programs is their Workplace Giving Campaign, which gets local businesses and their employees directly involved in community-building and charitable giving. More than 450 businesses and organizations throughout Whatcom County conduct workplace giving campaigns and in recent years more than $11 million has been raised for charity!
Workplace Giving is an easy, affordable and safe way to make donations to your favorite charities. United Way educates businesses and their employees about charitable giving and helps them set up a Workplace Giving program that most appropriately fits their needs. Many organizations have a payroll deduction option in which employees can have their donations conveniently taken out of their paychecks each month. In addition to payroll deduction, other exciting fundraising and awareness events help to spread the word and build enthusiasm. Workplace Giving has been hugely successful, not only in raising funds for charity, but also in bringing people together in a work environment and getting businesses involved in supporting their community.
United Way is a unique organization with a huge heart that continues to make an extraordinary impact on the lives of millions of people across the nation and the world. United Way of Whatcom County and the goals they continue to achieve are a shining example of this success. Any branch of United Way would not be able to operate, however, without the help of dedicated individuals, so if you want to make a difference in your community read on to find out how to become involved!
Do you live in Whatcom County? Visit www.unitedwaywhatcom.org to learn more about getting involved with your county’s United Way!
If you don’t live in Whatcom County, visit www.liveunited.org and enter your zip code at the top right corner to find your local branch of United Way.
Start a Workplace Giving Campaign:
If you are an employee or business owner and you want to help build your community, connect with your co-workers, and donate to your favorite charities, contact your local United Way for more information about how to start a Workplace Giving Campaign at your place of employment! More information can be found at the United Way of Whatcom County website: www.unitedwaywhatcom.org/Workplace_Giving.
If you don’t live in Whatcom County, but are interested in starting a Workplace Giving Campaign, visit www.unitedway.org/take-action/workplace-campaign.
Donations are a vital part of successful community-building and United Way of Whatcom County relies on the support of faithful donors to achieve their community’s goals. If you would like more information about giving, visit www.unitedwaywhatcom.org/Give.
If you are a public employee and wish to contribute directly, sign up for payroll deduction at www.cfd.wa.gov and look up United Way of Whatcom County by their CFD #: 0316739
If you do not live in Whatcom County and you would like to donate to your local United Way, visit www.liveunited.org to search for your community branch.
United Way counts on committed volunteers to complete a broad range of duties. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with United Way of Whatcom County visit www.unitedwaywhatcom.org/Volunteer.
If you do not live in Whatcom County, visit www.unitedway.org/take-action/volunteer.