United Way is Our Way
Volunteers are crucial to the United Way’s mission, which includes programming like robotics. Denise Gorski is a campaign chair.
By JANET STOICA
“What I like about the United Way is that they support so many non-profits,” said Denise Gorski, Campaign Chairman of the South Central United Way organization, “donation dollars given go a long way. There’s such a great bridge of support for so many different needs in our community. When I worked for IBM 16 years ago, I became a member of their local planning committee and then served on their board. When I returned to this area, I served on the local board. Three years ago we merged with three other towns becoming the South Central United Way. Those towns are Charlton, Dudley, Southbridge, Sturbridge, and Webster.”
Ms. Gorski stated that the South Central United Way serves 70,000 residents and supports 21 non-profit agencies such as the Tri-Valley Meals-on-Wheels program (providing meals for our disabled and senior population), The Boys and Girls Club, Guild of St. Agnes, Big Brother/Big Sister Organization, Care Central (VNA and hospice services), and Our Bright Future (an academic youth program). “Our campaign goal this year, which ends in September 2023, is $584,000. We’ve raised 70% of our goal and look to the local citizens of our towns to help us in meeting our target. Without the help of our area community, we could never reach our goal to help so many in our own neighborhoods. We have seen an increase in our workplace campaign contributions which is so very rewarding. We’d like for everyone to find it in their hearts to support us as the money stays right here in our area. It’s for the good of all of us,” she said.
Workplace campaigns are overseen by United Way and there are large donors that the local chapter is extremely grateful for: Cornerstone Bank, Karl Storz Endovision, Dexter-Russell, Incom, Inc., and Savers Bank. The chapter has recently created a 365 Small Business Circle to bring together smaller businesses to help with meeting their donation goal. These businesses can help improve the lives of struggling families by showing the community they care.
The local United Way chapter’s overhead is 7% which means that 93 cents of every dollar given goes directly to each non-profit agency supported by your donation. This overhead amount falls into the highest ranking category of Charity Navigator, the nation’s most-utilized charity evaluator, which states that a charity organization that has an overhead below 15% is one of the best.
February kicks off with the United Way accepting non-profit agency applications for their annual Day of Caring. This is a project where United Way volunteers assist non-profits with projects such as indoor or outdoor painting, cleanups, etc. This year the event is scheduled for June 3rd and volunteers are always welcome.
“I get satisfaction from helping people and seeing the results of our programs that help people. When you see the outcome of your efforts it’s a good feeling,” said Ms. Gorski.
It’s true! A rising tide does lift all boats! Your donation to the United Way of South Central Massachusetts, no matter how small, will surely benefit not only those who need your help the most but will also be passed on to the local economy. To donate, to volunteer, to make a difference, please contact the local office at (508) 765-5491. On-line giving forms can be found on their website: www.uwscm.org United Way of South Central Mass., 176 Main Street, Suite 400, Southbridge MA 01550
“For it is in giving that we receive.”
– St. Francis of Assisi
Contact Janet at [email protected]