BY DAN NEPHIN, Staff Writer
The United Way of Lancaster County raised $8,881,768 during its 2012 fundraising campaign, which was $308,201 less than it raised last year.
But Patrick Jinks, the United Way's president, said he was thrilled with the results, given the continuing struggling economy and changes at the United Way over the past year.
Jinks completed his first year as president, replacing Susan C. Eckert, who was with the agency 25 years. The United Way also has a new vice president, Joseph Morales, and a new campaign director, Kristin Farley Marshall.
"The support is still there, but the level's decreased based on the economic conditions people are facing," Jinks said at a donor and volunteer thank-you celebration at the Double Tree Resort on Thursday night.
Most the decrease was at the corporate level, Jinks said, noting individual giving increased.
Board Chair Ralph Simpson Jr. detailed the money raised: Employee and corporate giving raised $7,060,747; grants, bequests and benefits from special events totaled $774,525; interest from legacy gifts and fees from companies for which the United Way processes pledges totaled $421,204; and in-kind contributions -- donated time and talent -- totaled $625,292.
Reflecting on his year in Lancaster, Jinks said Lancaster is a "proud community -- in a good way. We take care of each other. We step up when there's a call."
Rather than detail the number of programs the agency funds and other statistics, Jinks said what he finds important is the people the agency helps and their stories.
Such as the man who made some mistakes, but turned his life around and was able to get a job. It paid via direct-deposit, though. But through the Bank On Lancaster initiative the United Way announced last year, he was able to get a bank account and receive free financial education.
Or the disabled veteran who was close to eviction, but, with help, was able to stay in his home and "feel like a real person," Jinks said.
"This is not about how much money we can raise, it's about how much we can do with the money we raise," Jinks said.
The night finished with Nicole Brubaker talking about how she and her husband, Justin Brubaker, turned to United Way partner agency Schreiber Pediatric Care to help their son, Jaxon, who was diagnosed with "failure to thrive."
Jaxon, who now has a better prospect, was presented with a blue United Way teddy bear on the stage.
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