No doubt you were concerned when you read or heard about allegations regarding William Aramony, former president of United Way of America (UWA), in February. You were concerned about allegations involving Mr. Aramony's salary, travel, out-of-town accommodations, his establishment spin-off corporations, and controversy about employment practices at the United Way. So were the staff and volunteers of United Way of Central Maryland -- our local United Way.
The UWCM's 37-member volunteer Board of Directors was so concerned by the allegations that it acted quickly and decisively to reduce dues payments to UWA, its Virginia-based trade organization, by 10 percent. This cut into what had already been a small dues payment of less than one percent of campaign funds. The UWCM also instituted a month-by-month review of UWA's financial records and management restructuring. In short, the UWCM acted in our best interest to make UWCM's staff and volunteers.
Local stewardship of charitable giving has always been a strength of UWCM, which allocates nearly 87 cents of every dollar it collects from its annual campaign to community service agencies in the region. These agencies provide more than 300 critically needed services that address issues such as illiteracy, substance abuse, care for the elderly and disabled, hunger, homelessness, child day care, domestic violence, and child abuse.