There is so much distressing news these days that the success of the recently completed 1991 United Way campaign comes as an especially bright spot. Despite the difficult economic times, donations from employees of governmental agencies and 3,500 Central Maryland companies raised a record $39 million.
This means the 300-plus social service agencies receiving United Way funds can continue their work with some assurance of fiscal stability at a time when requests for help are growing. "People who were in positions to make contributions made them. They increased their gifts in many instances, despite the fact that they were adversely affected by the recession," said James T. Brady, who chaired the private-sector campaign.
Particularly heartening was the strong effort put forward by employees of federal, state and local governments. Their donations compensated for the decline experienced in private-sector categories that reflected the effects of the recession.
The demands are great and they keep mounting. The United Way is needed as never before. Without its fund-raising, many of these social-service agencies might be forced to resort to stop-gap remedies instead of undertaking planned and coordinated efforts to attack such problem areas as dealing with AIDS, illiteracy, substance abuse, child care, homelessness, domestic violence, hunger and caring for the elderly and the disabled.
The number of people benefiting from United Way-supported services each year in Central Maryland approaches one million. Its work is never done. But thanks to those who reached a little deeper into their pockets, the crucial contributions of the United Way agencies can continue.