Monthly Archives: February 2013


United Fund Support Crucial to CASA of Talbot County Efforts

One hundred thirty eight years ago, a little girl named Mary Ellen was carried into a New York City courtroom wrapped in a horse blanket. She was only 9 years old, but for the majority of her young life she had been beaten, cut, burned, and tortured. She had never been allowed outdoors and was often locked in a closet where she slept on a worn piece of carpet. Neighbors who heard this little girl screaming reached out to authorities for help, but the police could find no grounds to intervene because in 1874 our country lacked laws to protect children.So distressed was one social worker about Mary Ellen’s situation that she ultimately appealed to Henry Bergh, who was the president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He believed, thankfully, that Mary Ellen was entitled to at least the same rights that our country already provided to animals, and he took up her cause. Mary Ellen’s case was heard in court, and her testimony helped to convict her abuser.

This case was reported in a number of newspapers in 1874, resulting in such a flood of reports of other children’s similar plights that Henry Bergh founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The events that followed forever changed the course of child protection in the United States. Mary Ellen’s story is generally regarded as the catalyst for our country’s enactment of child protection laws, which now are strong and still quite necessary.  Even though our society is technologically savvy and has both strong educational institutions and laws, children in our country are still being physically and sexually abused, woefully neglected, or simply abandoned and left to fend for themselves. The children whose situations are most dire typically come to the attention of authorities. Our local Departments of Social Services are kept very busy providing services to many of these children and their families, and they seek court protection for those children who need it.

It is here that CASA enters the picture, helping to fill a need in the child welfare system by providing screened and trained Court Appointed Special Advocates to act solely on behalf of maltreated children. Also called CASA volunteers, each is an officer of the court who is required to bring crucial information to the judge or master about what is in their appointed child’s best interest. Because CASA volunteers typically have only one case, they have time to get to know their appointed child, time to learn everything possible about the child, and time to assess the child’s situation. The CASA concept, created by a judge in Seattle, Washington, is both brilliantly simple and simply brilliant – it absolutely empowers a community to look out for the best interest of its own children. National studies have shown that children with CASA volunteers have their needs identified sooner, and services to meet those needs are put into place much more quickly than for children without CASA volunteers.

Each child’s case is unique, but what these children share is a deep longing for someone to listen and to care about what happens to them. They want to be safe from harm, they wish for a forever family, and they long to have someone speaking on behalf of what they need. CASA volunteers care deeply about what happens to these children, devoting their time now with the fervent hope that this will help the children to grow into happy, healthy, and positive adult members of our communities. A child served by CASA summed it up beautifully when she said: “To give a child a CASA is to give them a voice. To give them a voice is to give them hope, and to give them hope is to give them the world.” As her words clearly indicate, the investment made by CASA can make a difference that lasts a lifetime.

Committed to helping vulnerable children in our community the United Fund has selected the local CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) organization as a member agency for its 2012-13 campaign year. CASA’s Executive Director, Robin Davenport, recently stated, “The United Fund’s endorsement of our program is crucial to our ability to serve all of the abused and neglected children in Talbot County who need a CASA volunteer by their side. We are extremely grateful that the United Fund is committed to supporting our work with the maltreated children in our community.”


Support for United Fund Participating Agencies Helps Thousands

The 2012-13 United Fund campaign really needs everyone’s help! The United Fund of Talbot County is a long-time leader in generating and distributing critically needed funds to a large number of local community organizations – agencies whose very existence depends on our financial support to them,” explained Executive Director, Ann Jacobs. “We could not do our work without the support of our many generous donors.”

Contributing to the United Fund provides the perfect opportunity to help many agencies with a single gift and improve lives right here in Talbot County. With your support for the 2012-13 campaign thousands of county residents served by United Fund participating agencies will benefit. Could there be a better feeling than knowing you’ve made a difference in the lives of so many who will be touched by your support?

There are only four months remaining in the 2012-13 campaign, and while support has been strong, donations are $40,000 short of the $400,000 annual goal.  Please help the United Fund and its participating agencies by mailing your contribution now to United Fund of Talbot County, P.O. Box 741, Easton, MD 21601 or donate online at www.unitedfund.org.   With your gift of hope, you’ll be helping United Fund partner agencies ensure the ongoing availability of programs and services for many needy local individuals and families.

 


United Fund of Talbot County Accepting Applications For 2013-14 Campaign Year

The United Fund of Talbot County will be accepting applications until April 15, 2013, from qualified non-profit agencies in Talbot County requesting funds from its 2013-14 campaign.

To qualify, agencies must be registered 501 (c) 3 organizations; grant requests should seek to fund programs or initiatives that address the health and human services needs of individuals and families in Talbot County, and must demonstrate the agency’s fit with the United Fund charter to benefit underfunded and underrepresented Talbot County residents.

Any first time applicants who wish to be considered as potential participants in the upcoming campaign are requested to submit a one-page document no later than March 1, 2013 that explains how their agency fits with the United Fund mission, and how the services they provide their clients are different from those provided by other agencies serving the Talbot County community.

Agencies accepted to participate in the 2013-14 campaign must also agree not to fundraise during September, October, and November when the United Fund’s campaign is underway. For an application, write the United Fund of Talbot County office at P.O. Box 741, Easton, MD 21601; request an application on-line at uftc@unitedfund.org or call 410-822-1957.  All applications must be received at the United Fund office by April 15, 2013.