United Way Serves Carroll

September 28, 1994

The United Way of Central Maryland has kicked off its fall campaign. Some people in bucolic Carroll may be under the impression that this county has little need for the United Way. They are sadly mistaken.

While a relatively affluent county, Carroll is home to hundreds of poor, undereducated and needy families. About 4,500 people live below the poverty level here; about a third of those are children. A fifth of Carroll's adult population has not completed high school. These measures indicate the need for the United Way, which collects donations and channels them to agencies that provide social services.

Last year, 620 people were served in homeless shelters in the county. Almost half that number were turned away for a variety of reasons, including lack of space. Half of the county's homeless are families, and nearly a third are children. Human Services of Carroll County, which runs the county's homeless shelters, was one of the local community service agencies that received grants last year from the United Way of Central Maryland. With that money, a course was offered to low-income parents to help them improve their parenting and job readiness skills.

United Way also provided financing for a variety of other important community organizations -- Meals on Wheels, Carroll County Child Care Centers, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Friends of the Family and Rape Crisis Intervention Services of Carroll County, to name a few. In fact, United Way estimates that about 35,000 Carroll residents received benefits through contract agencies such as the American Heart Association, Associated Catholic Charities, American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society. Last year, about $632,000 of United Way funds were distributed to agencies and organizations in Carroll County.

United Way needs the support of Carroll countians. The county's quality of life will decline without the continued generosity of those who can make donations this fall. Because of the recession and bad publicity related to the United Way's national headquarters -- not the largely autonomous local organization -- giving has leveled off in recent years. All the while, needs have grown. Donating to the United Way is one of the most effective methods for ensuring that your gifts are well-spent.

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