Wednesday, April 29, 2009

United Way and dollars

There's a lesson in the closing of the five Goodwill stores in Amarillo/Canyon on Tuesday, whether it's permanent or temporary.

One is how important United Way dollars from individuals are. Those dollars that come out of your paycheck every two weeks are the lifeblood of many agencies. The $180,000 that Goodwill lost from the United Way was the difference in the stores remaining open or closed.

The second is how much authority the United Way and its committees have in doling out the dollars. It's Amarillo's money and these committees have been entrusted to use it wisely and prudently. Since both sides are a little shy on specifics, let's hope that United Way's decision to stop funding was a sound one.

In a story in the Globe-News today, and online on Tuesday, the 100 volunteers who serve on the UW allocation panels weren't comfortable with the direction Goodwill had taken. Frankie Francel, UW executive director, said it was a consensus from three separate allocation committees that Goodwill didn't align with the path of United Way and therefore funding was stopped.

Goodwill is without an executive director and the board has acknowledged a "restructering" is planned. Lesson would seem to be if an agency wants UW funding, they need to follow the rules.

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