Every year, and in a wide variety of ways, employees throughout Geisinger step up to the plate to help people less fortunate. The United Way Corporate Campaign is one of the Geisinger’s major drives and this November is shaping up to be another success. The mission of United Way is to advance the common good by helping to build a better quality of life in the following areas: health (improving access and quality of care), education (expanding resources to achieve full potential) and income (promoting financial stability and independence). Today, perhaps more than ever, these factors — called social determinants — can affect people’s health and well-being.
Stephanie Derk, project manager for Geisinger Health Foundation, said that, like last year, the goal for Geisinger is $250,000. That number was surpassed in 2016 through the generosity of Geisinger employees by nearly $60,000.
“The Geisinger Health Foundation raises money to use for programs and improvements within the system, as well as to help support external nonprofit programs, agencies and organizations,” she said. “A big part of our job is to keep the lines of communications with donors open so everyone knows that the funds they contribute go to help others.” Supporting and contributing to the health and well-being of the communities we serve is the cornerstone of Geisinger’s caring focus. Geisinger will continue its focus by partnering with other organizations that will have an impact on our patients and the communities we serve.
Geisinger employees have some flexibility to designate where their donation goes within the United Way structure. Some opt to support the general fund and some direct a donation toward a particular region or program. We work closely with over 16 United Way agencies throughout the regions, which include more than 374 member agencies. “Our employees are so generous,” Ms. Derk said. “Many of our donations are in small amounts, but we know that every bit helps.” She said that some campuses sponsor fundraising events such as pancake breakfasts, pizza sales and even a dunk tank featuring senior managers on the hot seat. No matter how the funds are raised, Ms. Derk said one thing is certain: “The funds collected through the United Way campaign at Geisinger help support a wide range of programs.”
Donations to the United Way Campaign helped to provide food for children in need: The Family Health Council of Central PA offered a summer food service program for children in the community, through the United Way of Columbia and Montour County.
Donations to the United Way Campaign helped people lead more independent lives: Through the United Way of the Capital Region, Susquehanna Service Dogs matched people with service dogs, balance dogs, hearing dogs, facility dogs and companion dogs to help them live more independent lives.
Donations to the United Way Campaign helped new parents: The Success By 6 program developed an online learning library and resource kit to guide parents through each stage of their child’s growth and development, through the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties.
Donations to the United Way Campaign helped to mentor kids: Big Brothers Big Sisters at the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata matched up nearly a hundred local kids with trained mentors.
Donations to the United Way Campaign helped provide housing: Through the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way, community action agencies and homeless shelters provided families in Snyder, Union and Northumberland counties with housing and budgeting assistance.
Donations to the United Way Campaign helped reduce poverty: The “Poverty to Possibility” program, sponsored by the United Way of Wyoming Valley, worked to reduce poverty among children and their families.
“We couldn’t do it without Geisinger employees,” said Ms. Derk.