Thursday, September 15, 2011

Live United - 2011

The Triangle’s United Way campaign for 2011 officially began last Thursday with a kick-off at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

I’m a volunteer (a crusader, actually) in Durham County, and I visited this week with three RTP companies that have exemplary campaigns.

At BASF their effort got a jump-start today with a ping-pong and foosball tournament. Campaign leader Scott Dominy brings great enthusiasm to the cause. The BASF staff is a strong supporter of the Give United Fund.

United Way is part of the culture at GENBAND and DuPont Electronics and Communications. DuPont’s Division President David Miller sets a strong example, as is the case with Jeff Townley, President of Operations at GENBAND. Janet Perry at GENBAND and Kay Long at DuPont lead the campaigns.

Eighty-two United Way partner agencies and their 149 programs touch one in every three citizens of our community, Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties. I’ve been involved with the campaign for a decade, and we used to say one in four people received services. Obviously, with high unemployment the demand is greater than ever - about 490,000 people last year.

You probably saw the story this week that America’s poverty rate is 15%, the highest it’s been since 1993. People are struggling, and the United Way is on the case!