Moving the Needle on Community Issues through Pilot Projects
Throughout 2015 and 2016, United Way of the Capital Region convened expert community task forces to help create potential solutions and strategies around our region’s most pressing issues in health, education and income. Task force members were nonbiased experts with working knowledge of proven “best practices” to address the root causes of issues.
Working independently of each other, the task forces all came to the same conclusion – begin with pilot projects that can grow in capacity to serve more and more people in urban, suburban and rural parts of our community. We are pleased to share the results of their work.
United Way and Sutliff Award New Car to Lucky Winner
United Way of the Capital Region’s “prize patrol” recently surprised Fulton Bank employee Darbbie Miller with a brand new 2017 Chevrolet Sonic, courtesy of Sutliff Chevrolet.
Miller won the vehicle because she donated $182 or more to United Way’s 2016 fundraising campaign. Sutliff Chevrolet has donated a car to United Way’s campaign raffle for the past 25 years.
This year, donors who gave $182 or more to United Way’s campaign were eligible to win one of five prizes: a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze, donated by Sutliff Chevrolet; a $2,000 gift card from Wolf Furniture; a Sweet Retreat Getaway Spa Package, valued at $1,750, from Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company; a $1,500 getaway courtesy of AAA Central Penn; and $1,500 in groceries donated by Giant Food Stores. The remaining prizes will be awarded in the coming weeks.
Tax Preparation Program Helps Harrisburg Man Save for the Future
Meet Corey Boyer of Harrisburg, a wiz at customer service, but in need of some guidance with his taxes. Corey and his wife, Catrina, have utilized the Money in Your Pocket program since 2011. The program, also known as the Volunteer Tax Income Assistance program, helps low- to moderate-income working families with free tax services.
For Corey, the program offers the peace of mind knowing his taxes are prepared correctly. He appreciates the great customer service provided by the volunteer tax preparers. In fact, he still checks in with Bob - the first person to prepare his taxes - every year during tax season.
Corey encourages his friends and church members to utilize the Money in Your Pocket program. This year, Corey and his wife will save their tax refund for the future.
United Way Presents “Best Of” Awards
United Way of the Capital Region recently presented awards to five local companies recognizing campaign coordinators and their teams for outstanding work.
United Way created the “Best of” Awards to recognize the good work of individuals who are instrumental in the success of their company’s employee campaign. Honoring campaign coordinators, teams and companies, the awards celebrate the creativity taking place in the very best workplace campaigns.
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry received the small size company (5-99 employees) “Best Of” Award. The organization used a Pokemon Go theme throughout their campaign to develop friendly competition among employees. They also participated in United Way’s Day of Caring, Bridges Society and Women’s Leadership Network. As a result of their efforts, the chamber reached 100 percent employee participation for the 15th year in a row.
Free Tax Preparation for Working Families
Low- to moderate-income working families can receive free tax preparation services January 30 - April 18 at sites in Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry counties.
The effort is part of the Money in Your Pocket Campaign, a community collaboration of organizations committed to the economic stability of local families. The program aims to increase use of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The EITC is a tax refund offered by the federal government to supplement wages for low-income workers.
Volunteers will prepare computerized, electronic returns through the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Tax Income Assistance (VITA) program, which is designed to provide low-income families with help completing federal and state returns, and obtaining tax credits. This year, people who earned wages of less than $54,000 may be eligible for assistance.
United Way Partners with Organizations to Create Community Dashboard
The Capital Region Community Dashboard, a web-based resource providing information on health and human service issues in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties, is now live for public use. The site, which is the only one of its kind in the region, includes the most up-to-date data on nearly 100 key indicators in the areas of health, education, income, basic needs and demographics.
The Capital Region Community Dashboard was created to help local residents, health and human service organizations, education institutions, places of worship and the business community better understand the issues impacting the region as well as track trends and progress. The project is a partnership between Dauphin County, The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, Harrisburg Housing Authority, Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC, Partnership for Better Health, Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State Health, PinnacleHealth System and United Way of the Capital Region.
United Way Announces Transition to Tackle Root Causes of Issues Facing the Community
United Way of the Capital Region is transitioning its work to move the needle on critical issues facing the Capital Region in the areas of health, education, income and basic needs by focusing on the root causes of these problems. This organizational shift to a collective impact model of work comes after two years of studying the needs of the Capital Region and listening to residents in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties about the issues they care about most.
“We know that no single organization can solve the problems facing the Capital Region,” says Timothy B. Fatzinger, United Way of the Capital Region president and CEO. “By changing our way of work to a collective impact model, we will help bring nonprofits, businesses, schools, places of worship, government, foundations and individuals together to solve problems.”
“This is more than collaboration. It’s about leveraging shared visions, goals and outcomes to create long-term success,” added Fatzinger. “Our new way of work is putting the most pressing needs of the community first, before the work of one organization.”
Joseph M. Capita Spirit of the Capital Region Award
United Way of the Capital Region is accepting nominations for the Joseph M. Capita Spirit of the Capital Region Award. The award will be granted to an exceptional community partner or citizen for superlative acts of community engagement. The nominee must make an outstanding and measurable impact in the areas of health and education, and better our regional community by addressing basic needs.
The award was created to honor the work of Joe Capita who served as United Way of the Capital Region’s president and CEO from 1995 to 2013. The culmination of Joe’s career of service led to significant accomplishments for the organization and community. United Way looks forward to granting this award to a worthy nominee in May at United Way’s Annual Luncheon. The deadline for nominations is April 7, 2017.