We will move on from United Way decision

The United Way and Schreiber have supported each other’s missions for many years. Schreiber has long been one of the largest recipients of United Way allocations. And the United Way has regularly used Schreiber children in its marketing efforts, because our kids and the work we do are make for such compelling stories.

We have been proud of that relationship, and we like to think it has been mutually beneficial.

But times change. We understand that. We really do. Obviously, we would have preferred the United Way had come to a different conclusion about the value of the collaborations we put forth in our application. Yes, we only listed three partners in our United Way filing. But the fact is we could have listed many more.

Here’s a partial list of the community organizations with whom we partner:

  • The Fulton Opera House
  • The Choo-Choo Barn
  • The Janus School
  • The Milton Hershey School
  • Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13
  • Lancaster County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
  • Agora Cyber Charter School
  • Commonwealth Connections Academy
  • Elizabethtown College
  • Lancaster General Health’s Pennsylvania School of Health Sciences

The point here is that the United Way wants to encourage organizations to develop these collaborative partnerships to reduce redundancies and serve more people, all with an eye toward improving its four Bold Goals: to improve kindergarten readiness, to improve post-secondary achievement, to reduce poverty and to improve access to the health care system.

Schreiber’s work is already specifically addressing at least two of those goals. Our preschool and daycare services are providing high-quality early education that is sending dozens of kids a year to kindergarten ready to learn. Our therapy services offer the thousands of special-needs kids we see every year an important part of their medical care — services that help them say their first words, or hold their dad’s hand or take their first steps. And these are services that aren’t available anywhere else in central Pennsylvania.

But the United Way has made its decision. We accept it and move on.

We were already taking steps to make sure Schreiber remains in Lancaster County next month, next year and well into the future. Since 2012, we have nearly doubled the amount of money we raise through grants and private donations. In 2014, we created the Schreiber Endowment Fund, seeding it with a $100,000 grant and then raising another $100,000 from the community.

That work will continue, although now, of course, we will need more help from our many friends across Lancaster County and beyond. For those of you who know Schreiber only through our Rubber Duckie Race, take a minute to visit our website learn more.

If you already have a family member here or know a friend with a child here, and you know about the work we do, but you’ve never donated, take a minute to visit our donation page and explore how a gift might fit in with your values and your budget.

And if you aren’t able to support Schreiber financially right now, we understand. There are ways to give that don’t cost anything. You can like us on Facebook, sign up for our email list or follow us on Twitter. You can raise your hand for one of the many volunteer opportunities we have available.

Schreiber’s work is so critical to so many children that we simply do not accept the possibility that this community would allow such a valuable community resource to be buried under its financial burden.

We have seen difficult times before, and each time we weathered them. With your help, we will weather this one, too.