THE YEAR IN REVIEW – 2012
In 2012, the BARC committee and the Community Impact Committee were combined. This was later changed along with the BARC committee’s name. It is now known as the Allocations Committee. This was decided by its members and has continued to function properly ever since the split. The Committees work together when appropriate.
The 2011-2012 Funding Year Application saw a new requirement for agencies. A mid-year review form was added to allow for more grantee/allocations committee communication and accountability. This form was due July 31, 2012 by each agency receiving over 3,000 dollars. The Committee members conducted their in-person mid-year review in June-August. This in-person review allowed the Committee members to ask the questions not found on the form and see the facility in action. A rubric was used to evaluate the agencies progress.
Review of 2012-2013’s funding applications took place in November and December 2012. A new online system was created for our regional United Ways called CTK. This system provided agencies the convenience of applying, saving and submitting their work online. Allocation’s Committee members then reviewed and evaluated each application online as well.
List of Agency’s Allocations for 2011-2013 Funding Year
Name of Agency Amount Paid
Berwick Public Library 57,000
Berwick YMCA 55,000
The American Red Cross 51,000
Beyond Violence 50,000
Salvation Army 28,000
Boy Scouts of America 14,000
Community Impact (Grants) 12,500
Columbia Child Development Center 12,000
Big Brother/ Big Sister 10,000
Women’s Center 6,000
Girl Scouts 3,000
Central Susquehanna Sight Services 3,000
Camp Victory 1,000
Children’s Museum 700
The second Round Table discussion was held August 7, 2012 at the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation. The topic focused on the welfare of our children. Thirty people attended from diverse groups in the community. The end result of the conversation was to create a program to educate our working families on how to be good parents and stable citizens.
To address the need for stable families, the Community Impact Committee will be creating a grant focused on Family and Work development. This grant will outline a program that includes curriculum on finances, parenting, and finding employment. The Berwick Offray has offered to pilot this program within one of their facilities. Providing education during lunch or before shift hours creates a captive audience who may not otherwise show up for a class. Focusing on this group of people will ensure the right audience is met.
The suggestion was also made to have a conversation with the youth, particularly high school students, to find out their concerns for the community. Four Health Classes that contained 10, 11, and 12th graders were asked the question “Why Berwick Sucks” and the outcome was “there is nothing to do”. The Committee looked at that outcome and decided that these kids need somewhere “cool” to go like a Youth/Recreational Center. The United Way will be partnering with the YMCA to brainstorm how to create such a facility.
Early in 2012, it was announced that the amount raised in the 2011 campaign was a record setting $416,287.49. Then the Campaign Committee was back to work identifying potential businesses of moderate to large scale who have not given to the United Way. They used this list as a target for new donors. Letters were sent and follow up calls were made.
Campaign started off strong with a donation from PPL to print all of our materials including brochures, pledge forms, and letters. Custom letters were created for target audiences to attract donations. Letters were sent to large corporations, small businesses, the general public, churches, and professionals in the area. Donation Tracker was used to manage these letters and lists of contacts.
Our major donors were met with in the month of August and September. The Kick-Off Breakfast was held September 5th at the Maria Assunta in Berwick. Twenty-five people attended and Ginny Crake was the speaker.
A Direct Mailing was sponsored by the Berwick Hospital Center, where 12,000 oversized postcards were mailed to every household in our service area. These postcards announced the 2012 Campaign and requested an online donation.
Small businesses got a boost, through the sale of life size cut-outs of area business people. They stood tall next to the United Way thermometer on Market Street. There were ten weeks of the campaign that saw these local celebrities out there supporting the United Way. This fundraiser saw 6 first time givers and 3 increased givers. It also created a lot of buzz, publicity, and fun stories for our town.
The Campaign Finale took place in late November at Bill’s Old Bike Barn in Bloomsburg. Thirty people attended this unique location to accept awards and celebrate the end of the Campaign. At this point in time, the final number was not secure and we could not announce the ending result. However, that did not stop the celebration.
This committee has been historically used to organize Campaign events and Day of Caring. Underutilized and lacking consistent meetings, the Committee has a new focus on creating events that further the UW mission. With a goal of 4 events a year (one per quarter), the group has started on Walk of Warmth, Week of Caring, Riverfest, and Dental Day.
Week of Caring (formally Day of Caring) saw 80 volunteers and a number of projects. Saint Charles Park was cleaned, meals were delivered through meals on wheels, and the deck was cleaned and painted for Beyond Violence. However, it was not as well attended as in years past and the list of projects were low. There is a need to revamp this event and the Committee’s first step is to make it week-long and open the projects up to any part of town.
Riverfest is a festival that is held at the Test Track Riverfront Park in the fall. The Berwick Area United Way stand was informational letting people know about the United Way’s programs and how to donate to the Ber-Vaughn Pool project. We raffled off two baskets and numerous items as well as created a scavenger hunt people could enter to win.
Walk of Warmth is a walk-a-thon planned for February 2, 2013 to raise money for the Emergency Heating Assistance Fund.
Dental Day will take place in 2013 in partnership with the School District and Dental Health Clinic.
Berwick Young Professionals
A brand new committee as of October 2012, the Berwick Young Professional’s mission is for the young and young at heart to meet socially, network, and give back to their community.
The vision for the committee is to improve the greater Berwick community by investing in its future economically and socially through networking and volunteerism. They understand that it is their time to give back much like their parents and grandparents have in the past. They take a firm stance to not make excuses and put their values back into family and community to make real lasting change.
In 2012, they held three social events at O’Donnell’s Winery, Berwick Brewery, and Two Hens Gift Shop. A logo was created to brand this new group and give it autonomy. The United Way gave them a budget of 500 dollars to start; however, all members are expected to donate at some level that will then create their ongoing budget. All members are also required to give back at least 25 hours of volunteer time to their charity or organization of choice.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance VITA program saw 309 clients who in return received $414,302.00 in returned funds. The site was organized and run by Sue Younker and many dedicated volunteers. The McBride Library has hosted this program for the last 2 years and we are very thankful for their hospitality.
Letter Carrier Drive saw a 50% increase in collections from the year before. Over 8,000 pounds of food was collected on one day. Asking people to leave canned goods in or near their mail box offers an easy way to donate. The food collected was distributed to the Berwick Salvation Army, Nescopeck Food Cupboard and the Shickshinny Pantry.
Stuff the Bus, in partnership with the Woman in Nuclear and area businesses, gathered 500 backpacks filled with school supplies for the Berwick Area School District and surrounding areas. The kids who received them are the kids who qualify for free or reduced lunches. This was an increase from the year before by nearly 200 bags.
Weekend Food Program is a pilot program at Orange Street School, where a bag of food is given to 20 students as a supplemental food source to eat over the weekend. At Orange Street alone, there are 300 students who qualify for free or reduced lunches. This offers the students, kid friendly snacks and meals to be sure they are getting the nutrients they need when they are not at school. The Berwick Elks Club is the primary sponsor of this program.
Community Soup Kitchen hosted every Saturday by the United Way at the Salvation Army has seen close to 2,000 people in 2012. The North American Young Generation in Nuclear group at PPL pick up and deliver the donations from Giant Food Market and Dalo’s Bakery to the Soup Kitchen, while a varied groups of volunteers prepare all kinds of food and serve it.
Community Emergency Resource Fund (CERF) was able to provide stoves, heaters, car inspections, and more to individuals and families who were not able to pay that onetime expense. With a budget of 5,000 dollars held by the United Way and administered by the Red Cross and Salvation Army, people in our area have the ability to apply for help for onetime purchases that might be out of their budget.
Familywize Prescription Assistance Cards were distributed to all major pharmacies in Berwick and to individuals during Campaign. 5,000 cards were ordered in English and 2,000 in Spanish. An additional 5,000 in English have been ordered before Campaign was over.
Youth Awards were given out in May to 4 graduating seniors in the Berwick Area School District and 1 graduating senior at the Columbia Montour Vo-Tech School. Ms. Abby Grasley received the 500 dollar Prosseda Award, Taylor Stair, Kelly Shiptoski and Alex Oliver received the 100 dollar Berwick Area United Way awards for Berwick. Veronica Krolikowski received the 100 dollar award for the Vo-Tech. These students were chosen based on their civic performance.
Joy announced her retirement for the end of June. The executive committee created a search committee who created a job description and announced the position in various locations. The Search Committee was headed by Jay Jarrett. Frank Crayton, Cindy Lombard, Cindy Romeo and Cindy Prosseda volunteered to be on the committee.
After many applicants were reviewed, Ginny Crake was selected as the new CEO of the Berwick Area United Way. Ginny and Joy were able to work closely together for the entire month of May and part of June to ensure a smooth transition.