Don’t forget education and the arts!

Steve Heath

This is going to sound strange coming from the CEO of a nonprofit whose mission is health and human services, but I’m very concerned about the impact of the current economic situation on education and the arts.

Healthy communities need vibrant arts and culture and strong educational systems. Arts and education can be overlooked in times like these, when so much attention gets focused on human services needs. That’s unfortunate.

I would urge you not to forget the arts and education as you make decisions about what causes to support. And I would remind you that if you happen to work for an employer that partner with United Way to offer you payroll deduction giving, you can designate your gift to any 501(c)(3) organization—including arts and education organizations. We will deliver your gift wherever you instruct us to send it.

The important thing in my mind is that people give back to the community and I also happen to believe that payroll deduction giving is the best, easiest way for most people to do that. I’m not saying that you should ignore human services needs in your giving decision—far from it!—but I am saying that we can’t lose sight of those things that make our society unique and strong. And it just so happens that United Way’s workplace campaigns enable you to address both.


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