Allocations Reflection by Jess Rine
Many people in this community tend to not see the needs of other community members and some of the stories can be a bit alarming. Allocations Weeks is when those stories are told to our donors and volunteers. Most issues sound like a problem only bigger cities are facing, yet here we are with community members struggling to financially support themselves and their families day in and day out. This is a paycheck to paycheck society and that became even more clear in 2020. There is also a lot of abuse in our community that it’s fairly mind-boggling. While hearing that there are some dark things happening in our communities, it’s helpful to know that so many programs are around to help victims and the underprivileged population. I’m always very proud of the agency speakers being able to compassionately present the issue and a solution.
I truly love allocations panel week. In my previous career, I volunteered as a panelist and I saw such value in it. I was emotional hearing about the need, but so gratified to hear how the United Way was helping to address that need in our community. Fast forward and now, I’m part of the team helping to raise money give to these programs. So blessed. If you aren’t familiar with the process, in short, allocations panels are made up on donors and volunteers that hear from the directors of the agencies that the United Way funds. They hear about the specific programs THEIR donations go towards. At the end of the volunteer day, after hearing from 3-4 agencies, the group of 10 or so volunteers/donors makes a recommendation on how much funding be awarded to each program. This year we awarded half a million dollars thanks to our terribly generous community.
Let me know if you’re interested in serving on an allocations panel next year. I’m confident you will find the process very fulfilling.