THE UNITED WAY of Central Maryland campaign's pledge of $36.5 million exceeded last year's donations by more than 4 percent. Maryland workers responded to the needs of their neighbors at a time of shifting employment, lay-offs, rationalizations and anxieties. It was the right response to actions at every level of government that are reducing the social safety net and throwing more responsibilities on the private philanthropic sector. The harassed taxpayer is also the voluntary donor.
The net figure includes the separate campaigns in federal, state and city workplaces, each of which exceeded last year's returns.
James B. Sellinger, chairman of this year's campaign, and Joseph E. Blair Jr., chairman of the United Way board, can take satisfaction with such progress. So can Roberta van der Voort, a retired United Way executive from Seattle who flew in this autumn to run the professional staff through this campaign.