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United Way of Seneca County Annual Meeting

At the United Way of Seneca County Annual Meeting held on February 15, 2011, the organization announced that to date the 2011 campaign $320,000, 90% of its goal.As a result of the campaign deficit the United Way Board of Directors announced a plan to raise $20,000 by the end of March, an initiative they called the February Challenge. Their plans also include reducing funding to partner agencies by ten percent.“United Way of Seneca County is one of many smaller United Ways that have been severely affected by a slow economy and federal and state budget cuts.” Executive Director, Karen Beals said. “However, the needs of the community have never been greater as more and more families live below the poverty line and seek relief from the direct services our funded partner agencies provide,” Beals continued. With the loss of grant funds, United Way staff salaries were also reduced by over one-third or remained flat.During the remaining weeks of February and March the United Way of Seneca County is asking Seneca County residents to consider a financial gift to United Way. The organization has secured $2,000 in seed funds to begin the February Challenge.Donations can be made by credit card online at www.uwseneca.org or checks and money orders can be sent to PO Box 623 Suite 215 Main Street Shop Waterloo, NY 13165. United Way of Seneca County also offers automatic payroll deduction through local employers. For more information contact United Way at 315-539-1135 or email uwseneca@uwseneca.org. United Way of Seneca County is a non-profit organization working to improve education, health and income in Seneca County. Frequently Asked Questions Is United Way of Seneca County closing?No. We are making difficult decision for cuts in spending. We will continue to look for more efficient ways of doing business and other funding sources. Why are the budget cuts necessary?The United Way board decided that these budget cuts were necessary when we were unable to meet our campaign goal for 2010. The down economy combined with federal and state budget cuts has severely affected our funding sources including federal and state grants. Because of the struggling economy, federal and state grants are now scarce, competitive and are often allocated to more urban areas. How will the budget cuts affect United Way employees?Right now we are not anticipating any reduction in staff. With the loss of grant funds, United Way staff salaries were reduced by over one third or remained flat. What about your AmeriCorps VISTA employees?The two AmeriCorps VISTA workers are not United Way employees. Their salaries are paid for by a federal grant and are considered federal employees. United Way of Seneca County does not offer VISTA workers any additional compensation or employee benefits. How will the budget cuts affect the partner agencies?It is with deep regret that these budget cuts will affect our funded partner agencies. The UW Board of Directors has decided to decrease allocations to partner agencies by $20,000. What specific agencies will be affected?The screening, application and interview process is still underway with final decisions to be made soon. During this process the UW Board of Directors will look at the agencies providing the greatest community impact and work within United Way’s three focus areas: education, income and health. What is the February Challenge?During the remaining weeks of February and early March we are asking the Seneca County community to consider a financial gift large or small to United Way. The goal has been set at $20,000 dollars. UW has secured a corporate match who will match dollar-for-dollar every gift that is invested. What if the money is not raised?If the money is not raised then the UW Board of Directors will possibly need to look at deeper cuts that will unfortunately affect partner agencies more. We are optimistic that we will be able to raise the needed money with our fundraising efforts. How does United Way of Seneca County use my money?Your contribution stays in Seneca County and is invested in numerous health and human service programs delivered throughout the county. United Way programs and partner agencies use their investments for services that center on United Way’s three focus areas: education, income, health. What can I do to help?You can help by considering a gift to United Way’s work in education, income and health. Any gift large or small is appreciated. If you are unable to give, please advocate on behalf of United Way and share what United Way of Seneca County means to you. We are collecting stories from all over the county and we want to hear from you. Contact us at (315) 539-1135 or email uwseneca@uwseneca.org.

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