County, Private Sector Employees Open Wallets for United Way

SNOW HILL – Worcester County employees are in the top 25 in giving to the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore (UWLES), the organization reported this week to the Worcester County Commissioners.

“They’re not the largest number of employees but they’re 14th,” reported Bill Middleton, President of the Board of Directors of UWLES.

Not only have Worcester County’s employees given generously, over the last two years, they have increased their average gift from $62 to $81, and added thousands to their overall gift, according to Middleton.

“You’re up 43 percent,” Middleton told the County Commissioners on Tuesday.

In 2006, employees of Worcester County gave $13,000. In 2007, they gave $18,000. The county added only five employees in that period, so the increase cannot be attributed to more contributors. Worcester County’s workers have given $116,106 since 2000.

“That’s no small figure,” said Middleton, who presented a thank you plaque to the county at the end of his report.

Lynn Huson, assistant director of UWLES, praised Cindy Howell, the Worcester County employee giving coordinator for the United Way campaign, for doing “a wonderful job.”

A handful of other entities from Worcester County made the United Way top 25 company contributions. For example, Worcester County Board of Education came in at number 4, giving a total of $43,719. The town of Ocean City gave $40,919, and is sixth in giving. Atlantic General Hospital gave $14,203, and is in the 19th position on the top 25 list.

While they have given smaller amounts, with much smaller staffs, two local non-profits stand out on the list of average gifts over $100.

The ten employees of Diakonia homeless shelter, which receives $30,000 in funding from UWLES, contributed an average of $207 each. The thirteen employees of Worcester Youth and Family Counseling sent $170 apiece to UWLES.

Over 50 percent of the employees at Diakonia (100 percent), Worcester Youth and Family Counseling (100 percent), and the Worcester County Board of Education (52 percent) took part in the United Way campaigns at their organizations.

The United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore raised $1.6 million overall in 2007, roughly $100,000 more than the targeted amount.