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United Way campaign kicks off with goal of $2.2 million

In Baltimore, more than one-third of children live in poverty. Families are among the fastest-growing homeless groups in Central Maryland. And more than 325,000 Central Marylanders live in hunger or fear of starvation. The community's needs are real and growing.

With such a backdrop, a donation to the United Way of Central Maryland could mean more than ever, as it can help those in the community struggling with basic needs so that they can get out of crisis, stabilize, and achieve self-sufficiency.

The combined university/Johns Hopkins Medicine financial goal for the 2013 United Way of Central Maryland campaign is $2.2 million, a total for contributions from all divisions except SAIS, whose donations are reported to the National Capital Area campaign in Washington, D.C., and the Applied Physics Laboratory, which no longer reports its financial goals and results.

United Way of Central Maryland has two initiatives that help stabilize families and provide greater access to healthful food. The Family Stability Initiative serves families with young children in school who are at risk of becoming homeless; through intensive case management and shelter diversion, parents can stabilize their financial situations while children are able to remain in their schools. The Access to Healthy Food Initiative collaborates with others in the community to grow more food locally, improve distribution, and increase access and affordability.

Tom Lewis, vice president for government and community affairs, is chair of the university's campaign, which runs from Oct. 1 to Dec. 13. Charlie Reuland, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Bayview, is chair of the Johns Hopkins Medicine campaign, which runs from Oct. 14 to Nov. 1.

Employees will be able to designate all or part of their donation to the Johns Hopkins Neighborhood Fund, which supports agencies that serve communities in close proximity to Johns Hopkins campuses and have a strong relationship with Johns Hopkins and its employees. Since 2009, the Neighborhood Fund has allocated more than $1 million to local nonprofits.

To be considered, nonprofit organizations must be associated with Johns Hopkins through employee and/or institutional involvement and deliver services within the Live Near Your Work program boundaries and/or a three-quarter-mile radius of a Johns Hopkins campus that participates in the annual United Way of Central Maryland campaign. A committee of employees oversees allocation of the fund.

"Our work with the United Way of Central Maryland represents one of the key partnerships the university has with our community," Lewis says. "Through the United Way campaign and Neighborhood Fund, we recognize and support the efforts of many of the local organizations working hard every day to enhance the lives of our friends, our neighbors, and our communities."

The campaigns will feature department- and office-level events that seek to educate employees about the work of the Neighborhood Fund as well as of United Way of Central Maryland, which supports human service agencies in Baltimore City and its five surrounding counties.

Employees will receive information by email about how to pledge using a secure and confidential electronic system or by paper.

Posted in University News

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