December 2011 - January 2012

December 2011 - January 2012
• Legal Sector Lives United – page 4
• Help for First-Time Moms – page 5
• African-American Initiative Grows – page 6
A message from
Michelle A. Taylor
United Way of Delaware
December 2011 - January 2012
President and Chief Executive Officer,
United Way of Delaware
Dear Friends,
On behalf of the United Way of
Delaware family, I’d like to wish you and
yours a safe and joyous holiday season.
A partnership between The News Journal/Delawareonline,
United Way of Delaware and Delaware nonprofits.
For many here in Delaware who
struggle just to make ends meet, the holiday season can be a challenge.
In fact, with one in 10 Delawareans
living in poverty – and one out of five children – the added
pressure of exchanging gifts, hosting meals and traveling
to see friends and family can be overwhelming.
It’s important, though, to remember that the holidays are
also a time of hope.
Hope in the hundreds of nonprofits, businesses and
faith-based organizations that collaborate to support their
neighbors in need.
Hope in the thousands of volunteers who give of their
time, talent and treasure to help in any way they can.
And hope in the millions of acts of kindness that happen
along the way.
So, as the New Year approaches, we are hopeful.
Hopeful that Delawareans will continue to Give, to
Advocate and to Volunteer to make the season brighter for
our friends and neighbors throughout the state.
As always, thank you for your support, this year and
Michelle A. Taylor
If you or a loved one needs assistance this season,
please call 2-1-1 and a referral specialist will connect you
to local health and human services programs that can help.
Your help
is needed!
Log on today
to find volunteer
near you.
United Way of Delaware welcomes
three new board members
December 2011 - January 2012
John A. D’Agostino
United Way of Delaware
by Pam George
Santora CPA Group
John D’Agostino, a CPA with 22 years of public accounting
experience, has much to offer a nonprofit board, especially
since the majority of his clients are nonprofits. Along with
the financial side, he’s also familiar with the governance side
of a nonprofit organization.
For 10 years, he was chair of the Delaware Helpline’s
board of directors, before the agency merged with United
Way of Delaware. The service links callers who dial 2-1-1 to
more than 2,000 health and human service resources. “I
got involved because I wanted to help connect people in
need with services, whether the services are from the state or
nonprofit agencies,” D’Agostino says. “When people are in
crisis, you need to give them a place to turn to with an
easy-to-remember number.”
In July, Delaware Helpline became part of UWD, and
it’s now known as Delaware 2-1-1. As part of the merger,
D’Agostino joined the UWD board of directors. “I want to
lend my expertise from the last 10 years to United Way,”
he says.
D’Agostino is also working on the capital campaign for
the Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, and he works with
the Kelly Heinz-Grundner Brain Tumor Foundation.
Susan R. Getman
Executive Director
Wilmington Senior Center
Sue Getman became executive director of the
Wilmington Senior Center in 1996, and it didn’t take
long for her to appreciate UWD, which supports the
center. “I quickly recognized how important United
Way allocations are to the success of our programs for
older adults,” she says. “I also found great benefit for
my organization and my professional development
through regular participation in meetings of the
United Way Council of Agency Executives.” She
eventually became chair of COAE, which enables her to
be an ex officio member of the UWD board.
As a board member, Getman is interested in linking
partner agencies with the three UWD pillars—education,
income and health—so they can work together to meet the
needs of vulnerable populations.
Getman also chairs the Delaware Aging Network and
participates on additional UWD committees. “I hope that I
can speak for the aging population of Delaware and help
ensure that the UWD vision and initiatives include
what some call the ‘silver tsunami.’”
Joseph J. Schorah Jr.
Business Agent
Sheet Metal Workers Local 19
Ask Joseph Schorah’s neighbors to describe him and
more often than not, they’ll mention his community service
and volunteerism. “I generally like to help people,” says
the Delaware native. He’s chaired fundraising campaigns
to help the victims of the tsunami in Japan and Hurricane
Katrina, and he’s been involved with the Diabetes
Foundation’s golf outing.
Schorah became acquainted with UWD while working
for some of its partners, such as the Salvation Army. He
says UWD’s goals are very similar to those of organized
labor. “There are similar values: education, income and
health,” he says.
Schorah, who’s worked as a sheet metal worker since
1988, has been an officer with the Sheet Metal Workers Local
19 since 2005. As a member of the Joint Apprenticeship
Training Committee, he is particularly interested in education.
He’s part of an initiative to teach construction skills at Ferris
School for Boys. They learn the trade on site, and then work
on Habitat for Humanity homes. “Young people definitely
need to learn a skill and get hands-on work experience,” he
says. “They need to know they can make a living and help
make change in their communities.”
Addressing need
in Sussex County
United Way of Delaware
December 2011 - January 2012
New collaboration brings agencies together – literally
by Pam George
inancial stress and poor health often go hand in hand.
Therefore, community programs often need to offer
holistic solutions.
No one understands this better than Peggy Geisler, Executive Director of the
Sussex County Health Promotion Coalition. “If you address one facet without
addressing another, whatever benefit you put in place may be short-lived,” she says.
But residents of Sussex County – especially western Sussex County – often face unique
obstacles when seeking help. Not only are there are not enough health and human
service agencies to meet the need, the rural nature of the county combined with inadequate
public transportation often make it difficult for people to reach the agencies.
“People in Seaford are completely isolated from a lot of services,” says Karen
Matteson, Associate Director of Community Impact, Income at United Way of
Delaware (UWD). “Many of the services in Sussex County are centralized in
Georgetown, which is a 40-minute drive away.”
Language barriers are also common, with a larger number of immigrants in
Sussex than Kent or New Castle counties.
To tackle these problems, the Coalition and UWD are spearheading the Sussex
SUCCESS Program. “SUCCESS” is an acronym for “SUpporting Communities
through the Coordination of Education and ServiceS.”
The Sussex SUCCESS program’s purpose is to pull agencies with a variety of
missions together in order to meet the local need. The program is based out of the
Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club in Seaford.
In addition to the Coalition, UWD and the
Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club, participating
Milford agencies include:
Rehoboth Beach
Bethany Beach
Peggy Geisler, Executive Director of Sussex County Health Promotion Coalition, talks
with Charles Mathews, Executive Director of Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club and
Anthony Zarello, Chef for Connections Community Support Programs, Inc. about the
Thanksgiving dinner they made for children who attend programs at the center.
• Connections Community Support Programs, Inc.
• Generations Home Care
• La Red Health Center
• Seaford Delaware Libraries Job Center
Already, the partnerships have proved mutually beneficial. “Agencies are
dovetailing on each other’s resources in creative ways,” Geisler says.
For instance, Connections Community Support Programs has used the commercial
kitchen at the Boys & Girls Club for workforce development in the culinary arts.
The Sussex County Health Promotion Coalition is also using the kitchen to
promote its healthy eating, farm-to-table initiatives.
Similarly, the Sussex Technical High School Adult Division, which provides
English as Second Language classes, is looking to partner with the Boys & Girls
Club for childcare ser vices. The school administrators feel that their
students’ attendance would increase if those students were able to have a reliable,
high quality source of childcare.
“We’re overcoming access barriers and pulling resources together,” Geisler says.
Beyond bringing additional resources to Seaford, Sussex SUCCESS aims to
strengthen relationships between the partner agencies.
“We can look systematically at how we’re delivering services, to identify
opportunities for improvement,” Geisler says.
UWD is able to support this program because of a grant from the Arsht-Cannon
Fund, given to support underserved and minority communities.
“Mom and baby are doing well”
December 2011 - January 2012
United Way of Delaware
Program helps first-time moms raise healthy children
by Pam George
Having worked part time at an early care and
education center, Johanna Santiago had some idea
of what it was like to be a parent. But when she
became pregnant at age 24, she felt unprepared. Santiago
had dropped out of high school in 11th grade, and
her efforts to get a GED faltered when she faced
economic pressures.
Santiago turned to Children & Families First’s
Nurse-Family Partnership program, which connects
first-time moms-to-be with nurses, who conduct regular
home visits. The nurses perform health checks on
both the mom and the baby, offer education on
parenting and provide hands-on training. Visits start
by the 28th week of pregnancy and continue until the
child turns two years old.
“I thought the nurse was going to come into my
house and tell me how to raise my baby,” Santiago
says. “But she respected me from the beginning and
helped me make the right decisions.”
The Nurse-Family Partnership is a national program
model developed by Dr. David Olds, professor of
Johanna and Jeremy
pediatrics, psychiatry and preventive medicine at the
University of Colorado Denver. Olds tested his nurse
home visiting model with different populations over
15 years. He found that the program improved
pregnancy outcomes, as well as the health and
development of children. It also decreased use of
emergency room visits, increased economic stability
and decreased criminal justice activity of the mom
Bench & Bar Starts Strong
Initiative Helps Legal Sector Give Back
by Pam George
Given that Delaware has been dubbed the nation’s “corporate capital,” it’s not surprising that the
legal sector is strong in the state.
“The legal profession is such a big employer group in Delaware,” notes Bob Martz, senior resource
development consultant at United Way of Delaware. “And so many attorneys and firms support their
As a result, United Way of Delaware (UWD) formed Bench & Bar, an initiative that provides
attorneys and other legal sector employees with opportunities to get involved.
and the child.
“It’s a wonderful program that’s evidence based,”
says Leslie Newman, CEO of Children & Families First.
Not surprisingly, the nurses must undergo extensive
training. Although Children & Families First
received a federal grant, it didn’t cover the direct
service time of the nurses. United Way of Delaware
stepped in with a three-year grant to cover that cost
for one nurse.
The Delaware program has seven nurses throughout
Delaware, who will each have a maximum caseload of
25 moms. The young women learn about the free,
voluntary program from their doctors, wellness
centers, clinics and public health resources.
Newman is excited about the program’s measurable
outcomes. Good health and competent care giving
aren’t the only goals.
Today, Johanna Santiago has a healthy son. She is
finishing her GED and plans to complete training for
an early care and education certificate, which will
increase her employability.
“This program has taught me not just how to be a
better parent, but so much more,” she says.
Christopher W. White 2011 Awards
UWD recently honored local law firms for their
commitment to philanthropy at the Christopher W. White
2011 Distinguished Access to Justice Awards Breakfast,
hosted by the DSBA. Recognized law firms included:
• Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
• Blank Rome LLP
• Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Give: UWD created a Bench & Bar segment of its Tocqueville Society, a group of
philanthropic leaders who give $10,000 or more to UWD.
Advocate: UWD joined with the Delaware Association of Nonprofit Agencies (DANA) to
offer the “Board Excellence” training seminar to attorneys who serve on nonprofit boards or
who want to serve on boards.
Volunteer: The Delaware State Bar Association (DSBA) partnered with UWD to provide its
members access to a volunteer engagement website, customized for the legal sector. UWD
manages the database of local volunteer opportunities.
To attract new members and serve existing members, UWD recently hosted a luncheon at Potter
Anderson & Corroon. The event featured guest speaker was Thomas Sager, Vice President and
General Counsel for the DuPont Co. UWD plans to host more luncheons that offer topics of interest to Bench & Bar members.
For more information on Bench & Bar, call (302) 573-3738.
David Brown, Esq. accepts the Bench & Bar Tocqueville
Society Award on behalf of Potter, Anderson & Corroon LLP
for being the local law firm with most Tocqueville donors.
Pictured, from left to right: Bob Martz of UWD; David Brown,
Esq., Of Counsel for Potter, Anderson & Corroon; Michelle
Taylor, President and CEO of UWD; and Victor Battaglia,
Sr., Esq., Senior Attorney with Biggs & Battaglia.
Dow Chemical – Caring for Newark
United Way of Delaware
by Pam George
December 2011 - January 2012
donated household items are stored.
On another day, employees went to
Newark Day Nursery and Children’s
Center, tackling landscaping maintenance.
One employee, whose children once
attended the nursery, even powerwashed the building.
On a third day, employees went to the
Newark Senior Center to help renovate
and update a recreational room.
This is the first year that Dow created
team activities to inspire employees and
make significant, local improvements
throughout the campaign, Palena says.
(Last year, they worked on a Habitat for
Humanity house.)
“It’s part of our site’s culture to be an
active member of the community. It’s
great to work for Dow, a company that
wants us to do that,” Palena says.
In October, employees at The Dow
Chemical Company in Newark did more
than donate money to United Way of
Delaware (UWD). They invested sweat
equity too. More than 30 employees
visited three different UWD partners to
lend a hand.
“The important thing is making an
impact,” says Peter Palena, the Newark
site’s environmental health and safety
delivery leader. Palena coordinates the
site’s United Way employee campaign.
The service projects are part of Days
of Caring, a United Way initiative that
links companies with agencies that need
volunteers as well as donations.
First, employees went to Homeward Bound, an agency that helps
homeless families with children (as
For Days of Caring ideas, visit Dow team members at the Newark Senior Center, a United Way partner agency.
part of Emmaus House Family Shelter
and Services). The volunteers helped or
clean and organize the rooms where call (302) 573-3708.
UWD’s African-American Initiative is gathering steam
If you haven’t heard of Revive the Village:
Back to the Basics, you will soon. Revive
the Village is an African-American
I n i t i a t i v e led by United Way of
Delaware (UWD) volunteers. The
name reflects their belief that it “takes
a village” to raise a child.
Revive the Village officially kicked off
in May 2011. Led by Dr. Regina AllenSharpe, Senior Director of Career
Services and Student Life/Assistant
Professor at Wilmington University,
they met throughout Summer 2011,
and agreed to focus on Income initiatives
in their first year.
Sharpe says that the group wanted
to help with workforce development
efforts in downtown Wilmington. So
when they heard about the program at
West End Neighborhood House in
Wilmington, they felt it was a perfect
fit. They started leading résumé-writing
workshops there.
“The people in the class already had
résumés,” Sharpe said. “They just
needed some help. And they were very
motivated. They would come back the
next week with everything fixed.”But
Revive the Village members volunteer with a
variety of other initiatives. They also
Lucas “Amillion” Mayfield, Bill Allen and Kim Allen pause at Revive the
Village’s kickoff event, held in May. Mayfield gave a spoken word performance
at the event.
helped the local Basket Brigade sort
boxes of food for distribution over the
Thanksgiving holiday.
And the group is looking to expand.
In October, they expanded into Kent
County. True to form, they kicked off
this expansion with another service
event. Members cooked and served
breakfast to homeless men at the
Dover Interfaith Mission of Housing.
And to recruit additional members in
New Castle County, they held a reception
at Christiana Hilton Hotel on
November 15.
For more information on
Revive the Village, call
(302) 573-3724 or email
[email protected]
In 2012, they will adopt the Education
Pillar. But, Regina says, they will not
neglect Income initiatives moving
forward. “We are just building our
efforts, as we gain experience,” she
said. “It’s all about helping the underserved,
in any way we can.”
Clays of Caring
Jim Cronin from DuPont (third from left) recently pulled together some friends to
hold a target shooting event – Clays of Caring – to benefit UWD. They raised
nearly $2,000! Pictured, from left to right: Troy Francisco, Carolann Wicks, Jim
Cronin, Lois Hunn from UWD, Jud Orescan and Karen Bloch. Rob Fox of BBQ
Grills of Dover and Jim Enslen of JR's Catering provided food for the event. Thank
you for your support, everyone!
Wesley College
Student United Way
December 2011 - January 2012
United Way of Delaware
Wesley College Student United Way members recently attended the national
Student United Way Leadership Retreat in Alexandra, Virginia. UWD’s John
Moore stands with Nashi Watson, Erika Tanase and Chaplain Erica Brown from
Wesley College.
100 Men Reading Day
Volunteers gather for 100 Men Reading Day, an event organized by Reading is
Fundamental and Brandywine Valley Friends, with support from Christiana
Care’s Learning Institute and UWD. Volunteers spend the day visiting Wilmington
area schools and community centers, reading to children.
Jeff Haas, Director of Resource Development and Strategic Initiatives at UWD,
reads to a class. This initiative does more than promote literacy. It also encourages
men to get involved as positive role models for children in the community.
United Way of Delaware
December 2011 - January 2012
United Way of Delaware
The Linden Building, Third Floor
625 North Orange Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Non-Profit Org.
Permit #194
Wilmington, DE
Kent County Office
Community Building of the CenDel Foundation
Suite #2B
101 West Loockerman Street
Dover, DE 19904
Sussex County Office
206 Academy Street
Suite #2
Georgetown, DE 19947
AFL-CIO Community Services
698 Old Baltimore Pike
Newark, DE 19702
Coffee Lovers Unite!
Stop in to your local Brew HaHa!
beginning this winter and pick up
your favorite hot beverage with a
UWD coffee sleeve! Thanks to our
friends at Brew HaHa! for their continued support!
Mark your calendars
now for our next
Annual Get-Together:
June 18, 2012
5:00 PM
The location and the theme are to
be determined, but it’s sure to be a
fun, informative event.
(Kent and Sussex Annual Meeting
date to be announced soon – watch
our website at for