WHAT WE DO
The United Way of Seneca County is working to advance the common good by focusing on education, income and health. These are the building blocks for a good life- a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health. Our goal is to create long-lasting and measurable changes in Seneca County by addressing the underlying causes of problems.
Our vision is for Seneca County to be a vital, caring community that supports the building blocks for a good life which encompasses a quality education, a stable income and good health.
The mission of the United Way of Seneca County is to mobilize the caring power of our community to Advance the Common Good by measurably improving lives.
The five core values provide the foundation on which we base our actions and decisions are:
Integrity • Impact • Volunteerism • Inclusiveness • Catalytic Leadership
EDUCATION: Helping Children and Youth Achieve Their Potential
Goal: Raise the High School Graduation Rate from 78% to 89% by 2018.
INCOME: Promoting Financial Stability and Independence among Working Families
Goal: Double the number of lower income working families who become financially stable.
HEALTH: Improving People’s Health
Goal: Increase by one-third the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors.
We are Committed to:
- Working closely with community members to identify unmet needs
- Assisting funded partner agencies in meeting those needs in a cost effective and timely manner
- Collaborating with other partners in the community to effectively and efficiently utilize our skills, talents and resources
- Motivating members of the community to GIVE, ADVOCATE, and VOLUNTEER to help improve our community
- Keeping our expenses and administrative costs to a minimum, so members of the community know that their donations are going to help those for which they were intended.
The roots of United Way of Seneca County go back 50 years to the United Fund, founded in 1958. Its purpose was to solicit, collect, and disburse monies for charitable, philanthropic, benevolent and community purposes.
That fledgling effort was succeeded by United Way of Seneca County, formed in 1972 to continue the improvement and development of health, character, and well being to the residents of this county. The name was officially changed to the United Way to promote identification with the national United Way organization.
Today, United Way of Seneca County continues to invest funds in programs that demonstrate measurable results for people who need help and the community as a whole. We are committed to advancing the common good by focusing on health, education and income.
Current Director: Karen H. Beals 1998 - present
Executive Secretary/Director: Norma Lamberson 1983 - 1998
Executive Secretary: Catherine Bender 1968- 1983
Secretary: Mary Headley 1958 – 1968
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors is an all volunteer group of individuals who oversee the operations of United Way of Seneca County. Though a member of the United Way of Worldwide and United Way of New York State, here in Seneca County, all fund raising, partner agency funding and policy decisions are made by local volunteer leadership and the resources are invested in the local community.
Current list of Board of Directors [pdf]
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where does my money go?
Your contribution stays in Seneca County and is invested in numerous health and human service programs delivered throughout the county. United Way partner agencies use their investments for programs, services, and other specific purposes to best serve the needs of the community. An extensive network of over 250 local volunteers solicit and distribute money raised, keeping administrative costs low and enable almost 90 cents of every dollar to help people in need.
Who determines which agencies get funded?
A team of volunteers work together to make informed decisions about which agencies receive funding from United Way. Strict guidelines must be adhered to in order to receive and maintain United Way funding.
Why not just give directly to the agencies?
By giving to United Way, your dollars will have greater impact and together, united, we make more of a difference than we know. Experienced community leaders help invest your contribution in programs that deliver results for our community but we started by engaging the community and listening to people's ideas about what matters.
Remember that United Way of Seneca County does not provide "general" funding to agencies. We focus on underlying causes- getting to the heart of problems and carefully select which programs we support, based upon whether or not those programs will address the specific needs of our community.
What does "Community Impact" really mean?
To develop strategies that will achieve measurable and lasting change in community conditions, mobilize necessary resources, and put them to work to produce positive results and improve lives.
What are United Way of Seneca County's Areas of Impact?
- Education: Helping Children and Youth Achieve Their Potential Through Education
- Income: Helping Families Become Financially Stable and Independent
- Health: Improving People’s Health
Who governs United Way of Seneca County?
You do! Our volunteer Board of Directors and volunteer committee members come from all walks of life and reflect the diversity of Seneca County.
I never use agency services, so why should I give?
As residents of Seneca County, we want our community to be the best place in which to live- healthy, safe, and with a wealth of services. Even if we have never had a need for the services to this point, then perhaps a family member, a close friend or neighbor has used one or more of our partner agency services. And there is always that unforeseen emergency that might change our circumstances.
We all benefit in some way - either directly or indirectly and your generosity will go a long way toward ensuring that a wide range of human service programs are available to Seneca County residents.
The bottom line is that your gift to United Way supports programs that improve the quality of life for all our neighbors.
How does United Way of Seneca County raise money?
United Way asks people to contribute because our community's needs are always greater than its resources. Staff and hundreds of volunteers conduct an annual giving fund drive each fall though workplace campaigns, direct mail and personal contact for the general campaign. A modest amount of money is raised throughout the year, i.e. Taste of Spring, Chicken barbecue, and memorials, etc. returns to the community through the funded partner agencies.
Note: The afterschool programs are funded with grant dollars.
Can I contribute to specific United Way programs?
Yes. A ‘designated’ pledge guarantees your request. The designated pledge form is on the back of the pledge card.
There is one United Way agency I do not like, Does that mean I should not give?
No. United Way of Seneca County provides supports to 25 partner programs so children, the elderly, physically challenged and others receive help from your gift. Not every agency will appeal or be used by every person but you should realize that by not pledging a gift, you are penalizing all agencies, not just the one with which you disagree.