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Chester County Press

One contribution can help many

06/06/2016 01:51PM ● By Steven Hoffman

The United Way of Southern Chester County needs help.

Your help.

Each year, the United Way of Southern Chester County collects—and then distributes—hundreds of thousands of dollars to non-profit organizations in the area. These non-profits—organizations like the Kennett Area Community Service, the Kennett Area After School Association, the Oxford Neighborhood Services Center, and the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County work directly to help families in need in southern Chester County. Making a contribution to the United Way of Southern Chester County is a way to help many different organizations in the area.

This year, the United Way of Southern Chester County is distributing $780,000 to 27 different programs that are offered by non-profits. While that is a considerable amount of money, the current campaign will likely end up short of what is needed as the requests from agencies continue to outpace what the United Way of Southern Chester County is able to collect. Donations from large, out-of-area corporations are falling as several large Delaware corporations undergo restructuring. According to several United Way of Southern Chester County officials, the campaign pledges peaked in the 2012-2013 campaign, and there has been a downward trend ever since. For several years in a row, the United Way dipped into its reserves to provide the maximum allocations to the organizations that are on the front lines.

If the United Way funding to those organizations falls, those organizations, in turn, can’t help as many people in need. Despite Chester County’s comparative affluence, there are still plenty of needs in the area.

This year, the $780,000 in funding that will be allocated for programs includes $372,994 for crisis intervention programs, $206,476 for programs that promote stability and sustainability, and $200,530 for initiatives that enable people to transition to independence through education.

Each year, the United Way of Southern Chester County allocations panel meets to decide how much funding can be provided to non-profit organizations. The decisions are difficult, especially now, when the needs for funding are rising, but the available funding is decreasing.

Officials are looking for ways to boost the number of donors to the campaign. There were 1,749 donors in last year’s campaign, and that number for the current campaign stands at approximately 1,518 donors. Broadening the donor base is very important, and will go a long way toward helping the United Way of Southern Chester County achieve its goal of meeting the needs in the community.

If you can help out, information about how to make a donation is available by calling 610-444-4357 or by visiting

One contribution can help many.

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