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Dave Foote

Just when you thought the economy was starting to improve, what happens, we have a government shutdown and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has an October surprise.

The second day of the government shutdown I had a local Congress person call me to ask how the shutdown was affecting our ability to raise funds. I said, “At this point we were fine. But if it lasts as a long as week, I am afraid people are going to begin getting nervous and donations could begin to slow down.” The Congress person then remarked, “I never thought I would be associated with an organization whose poll numbers would be lower than head lice!” A remarkable statement.

Then the government website for the Affordable Care Act blows up and thousands of people find that the plans they like they cannot actually keep; that includes employees at United Way. read more »


As United Way fast approaches another Community Campaign period, I was intrigued by a recent column by well known columnist Cal Thomas. The article was entitled “Losing faith in our government.”

Mr. Thomas cited a USA Today/Bipartisan Policy Center poll, “Americans by more than 2-1 say the best way to make positive changes in society is through volunteer organizations and charities, not by being active in government.” Later in the article after besmirching politicians, Mr. Thomas rightly states that, “Charitable organizations are addressing problems the federal government only talks about.”

He then cites World Magazine, a bi-weekly Christian publication that has given its annual “Hope Award for Effective Compassion” to My Safe Harbor, an organization in Anaheim, Calif., that helps single mothers break the dysfunctional cycle of broken homes. The program promotes faith, personal responsibility and accountability for one’s actions. It is an anti-poverty program that works. read more »


In 1887, a Denver woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi recognized the need for cooperative action to address their city’s welfare problems. Frances Wisehart Jacobs, the Rev. Myron W. Reed, Dean H. Martyn Hart, Msgr. William J. O’Ryan and Rabbi William S. Friedman put their heads together to plan the first united campaign for 10 health and welfare agencies.

They created an organization to serve as an agent to collect funds for local charities, to coordinate relief services, counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies, and make emergency assistance grants in cases which could not be referred. That year, Denver raised $21,700 and created a movement that would spread throughout the country to become the modern United Way. Now, 125 years later, United Way is still focused on mobilizing the caring power of communities and making a difference in people’s lives. read more »

My Turn

We all know and agree that we live in trying times right now. With the fight in Congress over health care and economic stimulus; the fight we faced here in Washington over I-1033, budget shortfalls in our cities, counties and state, not to mention the shortfalls in many households, and the enormous challenge and uphill struggle United Way of Kitsap County faces to raise the dollars to support the community safety net through the Annual Community Campaign this year. read more »


The Dec. 3, 2007 weather event brings home the meaning of our United Way tagline “Lend a hand close to home.” After a couple of years of disasters around the world, at United Way we have talked a lot about the importance of personal giving and reminding ourselves that a disaster can strike anytime, anyplace to anyone — just as it happened right here in Kitsap. read more »

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