United Community Ministries, Inc.
November 17, 2010
I am recent addition to UCM's Board of Directors. But in my 25 years of development banking, rarely did I see an institution that is both so strategically focused on its mission of helping people in need, and so efficient and transaparent in delivering its services. Whatever you do for UCM, you know it will immediately translate into concrete assistance for a client family. Whether you volunteer in, donate to, or attend UCM's activities, your effort has a direct, positive impact on someone's life.
Those unique institutional qualities are showing in the superb way UCM has reacted to the current economic down-turn. It is assisting a record number of clients—some 13,000 of them. Its emergency food, shelter and utility connection programs are operating at maximum capacity. Educational and self-help initiatives are fully, and sometimes over, subscribed. More than ever before, federal, state and county governments count on UCM's help to reach the most vulnerable. Its staff are generously giving up their personal time and its volunteer force is deployed in its entirety.
While we are proud of UCM’s many achievements in this special period, continue to learn from our experience, and constantly seek new opportunities to enhance our efficiency and effectiveness, we know that there are many families still hurting. Fairfax County reports that some two thousand people remain homeless in the area, forty percent of which are children. And the consensus forecast is for the economy’s recovery to be slow, protracted and mostly jobless. In other words, for the poor, the next two to three years will not be much different from today.
So, if you ever wanted to extend a hand to the hungry, the homeless and the hopeless among us, this is the time to do it. And UCM is a wonderful vehicle to channel your support.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
The way client families have expressed their gratitude for UCM's support. To them, UCM is the last safety-net.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Secure a large donor platform on which to scale up the services that UCM delivers, especially while the economy remains stagnant and jobs remain scarce.
Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?
How much of an impact do you think this organization has?
Will you tell others about this organization?
How did you learn about this organization?
What is this organization's top short-term priority?
Emergency food and shelter.
What is its top priority in the long run?
Employability and independence of those currently in material need.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Board Member & Joined UCM Board.