Community charity lives the united way

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By John Waterman

By John Waterman

The United Way of the Inland Empire is a non-profit organization that has taken sentiments of giving-back to heart.

The group has coordinated its efforts with other local charitable organizations in order to engage a caring community in response to the needs of the population.

The United Way was founded in 1887, and helps disadvantaged children succeed in school by providing them with the necessary school supplies.

But providing school supplies is just one aspect of United Way’s work.

It also works to strengthen financial stability opportunities for low-income families, and provides individuals the opportunity to volunteer to create positive change in their community.

Riverside City College’s Matriculation assistant, Branden Hansen, helped coordinate the United Way Campaign Kickoff at RCC. He also donated $50 to the cause.

“We have a large community pool here at RCC, it’s good that we’re tapping into these resources,” Hansen said. “We have over 4,000 staff members on campus. If everyone donated just $2, it would come out to a lot.”

Unlike other charities, the United Way doesn’t simply raise funds for a cause that it deems worthy of consideration.

Rather, this unique charity organization acts as an umbrella organization and raises funds which are spread to a variety of charities, making the United Way the charity for charities.

Charities that coordinate with the United Way include organizations such as: the American Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest County, Family Service Association, the Salvation Army and many more. In turn, a donation to the United Way is a donation to many charitable organizations.

Then the question of how the money shall be divided arises.

Donors and other issue oriented citizens volunteer each year to help decide where the greatest need lies and where the funds will go.

With this fact comes the concern that your funds won’t go to the charity that you feel strongly for. Rest assured, donators have the opportunity to designate there donations to a specific charity of their choice.

In the charity business there is no shortage of gratefulness. According to http://www.ieuw.org, an appreciative mother spoke out regarding the Kids Pack program saying, “I tried my best to keep food in the house everyday and I just couldn’t do it. Now, I don’t have to worry that my daughter is hungry. Thank you so much.” 

The United Way has set three bold goals for where the nation should be by 2018.

The first goal is to cut the number of young people who drop out of high school by half.

Second, the organization has set out to cut the number of working families that lack financial stability by half.

Lastly the United Way hopes to increase the percentage of healthy young people and adults.

In short, the organization strives to increase income, health and most importantly education in order to ensure the success of future generations, and influence the condition of all.

KOLA 99.9 FM and the Inland Empire United Way program will be collecting new toys on Dec. 10. For collection locations and more information on the event, go to http://www.ieuw.org.

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