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December 2010 - January 2011


A message from Michelle A. Taylor


United Way of Delaware

December 2010 - January 2011

President and Chief Executive Officer, United Way of Delaware Dear Friends, Season’s Greetings to you and yours, and best w i s h e s fo r a h a p py a n d healthy New Year! The holiday spirit has a way of bringing out the best i n p e o p l e. A l t h o u g h t h e season can be hectic and the to-do lists never-ending, this time of year brings people together and shows us that we’re all connected; that we’re all united. Studies have shown that sharing joy with others increases your own joy. Why not experience that joy this season by volunteering your time with or making a donation to c o m m u n i t y p r o gra m s ? Vo l u n t e e r s a r e needed for programs activities ranging from hosting par ties for seniors to mentoring young adults to staffing a local shelter. Check out for local volunteer oppor tunities. And visit to make an online donation to support the more than one hundred programs funded by United Way of Delaware. Community needs might be most poignant during the holiday season, but remember that our friends and neighbors need our help year-round. I urge you to consider how you can Give, Advocate and Volunteer in every season. Because when we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. That’s what it means to Live United. On behalf of all of us here at United Way of Delaware, thank you for your support. Happy Holidays! Warmly,

Michelle A. Taylor

Executive Committee

CHAIR OF THE BOARD Connie Bond Stuart PNC Bank, Delaware

CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR Gary R. Stockbridge Pepco Holdings, Inc.

KENT COUNTY CHAIR Dr. Michelle R. Brown* Catalyst Enterprises International

PAST CHAIR OF THE BOARD Dr. Robert J. Laskowski, MD, MBA Christiana Care Health System, Inc.

CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR Ted Becker** City of Lewes

SUSSEX COUNTY CHAIR Sandra Ware** Grubb & Ellis Company



Barry M. Willoughby, Esquire

AUDIT COMMITTEE CHAIR Tom Josiah Tom Josiah Consulting


Philip Reese Delaware Public Employees Retirement System

SECRETARY Rodger Levenson Commercial Banking WSFS Bank Center

LABOR CHAIR Gwendolyn Lane Delaware State American Postal Workers Union


STRATEGIC STEERING CHAIR Timothy J. Constantine Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware

MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIR Joseph L. Yacyshyn Wilmington Trust Company


Tony Allen Bank of America

Lloyd Wirshba Barclaycard US PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Michelle A. Taylor United Way of Delaware

Board of Directors Wayne Holden* Community Leader

Tom Shoemaker TD Bank

Chris Buccini Buccini/Pollin Group, Inc.

Dr. William N. Johnston* Wesley College

Helen M. Stewart JPMorgan Chase

Tabatha L. Castro, Esquire The Castro Firm, Inc.

Antoine Oakley Community Leader

Dr. Jack P. Varsalona Wilmington University

Linda Chick* Chick’s Harness & Supply, Inc.

David Owen Bank of America

Marietta “Peaches” Whalen Delaware State C.A.P. Council UAW

Dr. Maxine Colm Community Leader

Douglas R. Phillips* Horty & Horty, P.A.

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS Muriel Gilman Community Leader

Chris Frysztacki Community Leader

Gerald Rocha* Elizabeth House Family Life Center

Donald R. Gagnon AAA Mid-Atlantic, Inc.

Paul C. Seitz CPA, CVA Seitz Consulting, LLC

Diane Gulyas DuPont Electronic and Communication Technologies

Timothy P. Sheldon International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen

Robert V. A. Harra, Jr. Wilmington Trust Company Fred C. Sears II Delaware Community Foundation

* These board members are also members of the Kent County Committee. ** These board members are also members of the Sussex County Committee.

Kent County Committee

Sussex County Committee

Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald Caesar Rodney School District

Alan Kovitz Elevations Unlimited

Charles “Chuck” D. Garrison Dover Air Force Base

Janie Libby Dover Downs, Inc.

Gene Dvornick Town of Georgetown

Rev. Lonnie Harris Ecclesia Family Worship Center

Seandra Sims Sims Media & PR

Ritchie Francia Delaware National Bank

Dave Hill Clear Channel Radio

Barbara Smith Burris Logistics

Nelson Hill Community Leader

Harold E. Stafford The Stafford Partnership Firm

Reuben Salters City of Dover

Patrick W. Sterrett Boy Scouts of America, Del-Mar-VA Council, Inc.

John Allen Pepco Holdings, Inc.

Patti Grimes Joshua M. Freeman Foundation Billy Johnson Hermann Financial Services Kim Tephabock Dagsboro Church of God

Tony Allen Chair, United Way of Delaware’s Tocqueville Society

Michael S. Uffner President, Chairman and CEO, AutoTeam Delaware

I support United Way because when we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. Few things are more important than that.

We support United Way because we believe in community service. We continually encourage our associates’ participation.

Jack Markell Governor of Delaware I support United Way of Delaware because it makes a lasting and positive impact for so many.

Marcia V. Lyles, Ed.D. Superintendent, Christina School District We support United Way of Delaware because the Christina School District has a shared commitment to improving the lives of our children, families and community.

Tom Carper U.S. Senator for Delaware I support United Way because, in the end, united we stand and divided we fall in communities across Delaware.

December 2010 - January 2011

We support United Way because of the many meaningful mission-focused Delaware agencies it supports.

Tony Marchio Superintendent, Appoquinimink School District Our schools support United Way because children can’t learn if they’re hungry or in need of a stable home. United Way is a safety net for us all.


Chip Rossi Delaware Market President, Bank of America

James A. Wolfe President and CEO, Delaware State Chamber of Commerce

We support United Way because regardless of who we are or where we come from, ultimately, we are all in this together.

We support United Way because it connects with and supports our neighbors in need.

Thank you for your support Ed Sutor President and CEO, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino

United Way of Delaware

Carleton Carey Mayor, City of Dover I support United Way of Delaware because it supports important programs and services that generate substantial results in our community.

Connie Bond Stuart President PNC Bank, Delaware We run a United Way campaign because we want a great future for our children.

Jim J. Lesko Director, Early Development and Learning Resources, Delaware Department of Education I support United Way because they work to make a substantial positive impact on the lives of young children and their families. Dr. Harry L. Williams President, Delaware State University We support United Way because it is a trusted steward of donations it receives and provides DSU another way to give back to the community.

Fred C. Sears II President and CEO, Delaware Community Foundation I support United Way of Delaware because when organizations collaborate, we can create long-lasting, positive change.


United Way of Delaware

December 2010 - January 2011

Spreading hope and health

Jack Akester suffered from clinical depression, but found help at the Mental Health Association in Delaware and NAMI Delaware.

Rich Coon (left) received help from Connections Community Support Programs after he had trouble finding work following a DUI offense. Now he is Manager at A&G Steak Shop. (Pictured with Assistant Manager Sheila White)

UWD partners support Delawareans with mental health and addiction issues

by Pam George

Jack Akester suffered periods of major depression in 1983 and 1990. He saw a psychiatrist and took medication. But the depression returned in 1997, after he’d retired and started restoring an inherited home in Pike Creek. “There was too much pressure,” says Akester, general contractor for the project. “I was becoming anxious and developed a third episode of clinical depression.” The fight to regain his mental health lasted eight months. In part, he found help through a support group at the Mental Health Association in Delaware (MHA), a United Way in Delaware (UWD) partner agency. Initially he was a group member. Now he’s a facilitator. “I’m teaching, but I’m also learning coping skills,” he says. Those skills are particularly important around the holidays, when the decrease in daylight and increase in stress can exacerbate mental illnesses. “One of my favorite sayings is ‘Depression does not like change,’” Akester says.

In addition to exacerbating mental illness, change can also give people struggling with addiction an excuse to abuse drugs. Rich Coon, who was arrested for a DUI-related offense, knows that firsthand. When the restaurant where he worked closed, he sought help at a program called Connections to Work. The program is part of Connections Community Support Programs, a UWD partner agency that provides services ranging from substance abuse treatment and vocational training to affordable housing. Coon is now manager of A&G Steak Shop in Wilmington, which Connections owns and operates. Akester also received support from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Delaware. NAMI’s services include peer-to-peer education programs, family-to-family classes, family support groups and housing. “There is help out there,” says Darius Brown, Director of Community and External Relations for Connections. “We can lead them to the door and show them the way.”

UWD funds many agencies statewide that focus on mental health and/or substance abuse. These agencies include:

Brandywine Counseling & Community Services (302) 656-2348 Connections Community Support Programs (866) 477-5345

Delaware Guidance Services for Children & Youth (302) 652-3948

Limen House (302) 652-7969

Mental Health Association in Delaware (800) 287-6423 NAMI Delaware (888) 427-2643

Open Door, Inc. (877) 860-6955

Providing loans, preventing debt

December 2010 - January 2011

United Way of Delaware


Agency helps Delawareans avoid payday lenders

by Pam George

With three children between the ages of 2 and 4, Danielle Jones knew she needed to follow a budget. So she participated in West End Neighborhood House’s Family Resource Program. “Budgeting helps you stop spending money that you don’t have,” she says. Sticking to that budget is challenging when it comes to her children, but she does her best. Two of her kids have birthdays five days apart, so she combines their birthday parties to save some money. “I want to buy them presents but not live paycheck to paycheck to pay for them,” she says. When she needed a small loan, however, she turned to Loans Plus, a low-interest loan program managed by West End Neighborhood House in Wilmington. Through Loans Plus, working individuals can receive a $300 to $500 same-day cash loan at a highly competitive interest rate. That is a far cry from predatory payday-lending operations, which can charge up to 500-percent interest and even more over the life of the loan. Borrowing from such establishments can become a vicious cycle that can cause a client to fall even further into debt. As of Oct. 31, Loans Plus—which started in 2007— has made $315,000 in loans to 728 individuals. The need is often greater in the third and fourth quarters, says Barbara Reed, director of the program. This year, for instance, there were 50 percent more loans in the third quarter than in the first. Credit year-end bills, the holidays and spikes in electricity and heating costs are some of the reasons for the increase. Loans Plus loans have no upfront fee, but applicants must meet with a financial counselor who helps borrowers manage their money—another key difference from payday lenders. Loans Plus is a statewide program currently offered at six locations: West End Neighborhood House and

YWCA and Catholic Charities sites in all three counties. Along with United Way of Delaware, partners include ING, TD Bank, Wilmington Trust, Barclays and FHLBank of Pittsburgh. “It’s a good program,” says Jones, who’s among the 96 percent to make payments on time. “The interest rate is affordable, and it’s better than using a payday place.” For information, call 888-936-4727 or visit

Give back, Delawareans!

G i ve B a ck D E . o r g i s U n i t e d Way o f Delaware’s volunteer website. See these opportunities and more by logging in to w w w. g i ve b a ck d e. o r g a n d c r e a t i n g a profile today!

• Mentor at the Latin American Community Center (New Castle County) • Assist with birthday parties at the Wilmington Senior Center (New Castle County) • Host a baby shower for a young mom at Catholic Charities (New Castle County) • Bilingual volunteers: Help La Esperanza with their education programs (Sussex County)

UWD Launches African-American Initiative


United Way of Delaware

December 2010 - January 2011

by Seandra Sims

Tackling the vast disparities that exist within the state’s African-American community in the areas of Education, Income and Health is the ambitious aim of United Way of Delaware’s new “Revive the Village – Back to the Basics” initiative. United Way of Delaware (UWD) joins other United Ways across the country that are creating similar groups to provide unique opportunities for outreach to diverse individuals and cultures. Revive the Village, named in honor of the familiar notion that “it takes a village to raise a child,” convened its first meeting of 15 advisory members in September. The committee, led by co-chairs Dr. Regina Allen-Sharpe of Wilmington University and LaShawn Carter of Bank of America, will have representation from all three counties in professional sectors including education, faith-based, small business and financial services. According to Allen-Sharpe, “In 2011, the committee will be focused on initiatives impacting Income in the African American community. We will encourage community members to become more active in the path toward financial freedom.” “The committee will focus on Education and Health in 2012 and 2013 respectively,” added Carter. In early November, Revive the Village committee members did community outreach at Delaware State University’s last home football game of the season. (See more information in the story below) Moving forward, the Revive the Village committee will seek new ways to engage the entire community in United Way of Delaware’s year-round mission through giving, advocating and volunteering. For more information about the Revive the Village initiative, call UWD at (302) 573-3724 or e-mail

The Crystal Center’s “3rd Sunday Jazz Banquet” provided a melodic and friendly atmosphere for the public launch of UWD’s “Revive the Village – Back to the Basics” initiative in mid-October. Michelle A. Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer of UWD, gave remarks and reminded the crowd of 200 that even people who were once well-off are experiencing tough times in this economy. Crystal Center Owner Talbert Gwynn (far left) and Sales Manager Rob Harris (left) presented Taylor, shown above with Richard Blackwell, event emcee, with a portion of the proceeds from the event’s ticket sales to support UWD’s Community Impact Fund.

DSU and UWD partner for “Game of Giving”

Delaware State University (DSU) and United Way of Delaware (UWD) are partnering to address community needs. As an initial step in this partnership, DSU and UWD coordinated a “Game of Giving” on November 6. In the weeks prior the game, the Downtown Dover Partnership (DDP) and Fly 365, a local clothing store, ran successful coat drives, collecting more than 250 coats, some of which they presented to local agency representatives during the halftime show. UWD provided game tickets to children from local agencies and faith groups, including the Elizabeth Murphy School, Duffy’s Hope, Inc., Neighborhood House, Delaware Guidance Services for Children and Youth, Lutheran Community Services and Calvary Baptist Church in Dover. On game day, “Revive the Village – Back to the Basics,” UWD’s African-American Initiative, sponsored an all-ages tailgate, providing lunch for the attending children and agency staff and sharing information about Revive the Village with the attending community members.

Pictured, from left to right, holding several of the donated jackets: Ed Perez from the DDP; Dr. Harry Williams, President of DSU; Earl Thomas from Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing; John Moore, Vice President, Resource Development and Strategic Partnerships for UWD; Lee Turner, owner of Fly 365 and the DSU Hornet mascot.

UWD staff and volunteers, and children and staff from the Neighborhood House in Wilmington gather for a quick photo. UWD provided game tickets to children who visit local nonprofit and faith-based agencies.

The NRG Indian River Power Plant raised $24,000 for the 2010 Campaign! Pictured, from left to right are: Jack Grant, Indian River Plant Manager; Vickie Croley, Indian River Business Services Supervisor; and Michael Shockley of United Way of Delaware.

Community Shred in Wilmington

21st Century Insurance Provides Matching Funds

December 2010 - January 2011

21st Century Insurance, a first-time campaign, provided a generous 50 percent corporate match for donations to UWD’s Community Impact Fund. This fund maximizes donors’ impact by supporting collaborative initiatives around the areas of Education, Income and Health.

United Way of Delaware


UWD participated in a Community Shred and HAZMAT disposal event at the Wilmington Riverfront on November 6. Shred-it donated its services for the day-long event, which was jointly hosted by the City of Wilmington and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority. Pictured from left to right are: Marilyn Wanamaker, Jeannette Mulero, Laura Mood and Adrienne Woodbury from UWD.

Delaware Law Firms Live United

photo by Barry Corke

Sussex County Campaign

Associates of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP celebrate their campaign kickoff. The firm is one of 36 Delaware law firms holding UWD campaigns this year. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLPrecently kicked off its employee campaign. Pictured are, from left to right: Brother Rudolph from the Ministry of Caring; Susan Mammele, Office Administrator; Gail DiSanto, Human Resources Manager; Mark Chehi, Esq., Partner; Stephen Dargitz, Counsel and Nicole DiSalvo, Associate.

Bill Johnston, Esq., Partner at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, is 2010 Chair of UWD’s Legal Community Sector. He helps energize and oversee the employee campaigns in legal firms across the state. photo by Barry Corke


United Way of Delaware

December 2010 - January 2011

United Way of Delaware The Linden Building, Third Floor 625 North Orange Street Wilmington, DE 19801

Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE

PAID Permit #194 Wilmington, DE

Kent County Office Greater Dover Foundation Community Building 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

Living United in Delaware: Quincy Lucas by Seandra Sims

At first meeting, Quincy Lucas of Dover comes across as a soft-spoken educator who dotes on her husband Kevin and children Malcolm, Victoria and Benjamin. Beneath the mild demeanor, Lucas is a courageous and tireless advocate for domestic violence prevention throughout the country. She is Founder and President of Witney’s Lights, a local nonprofit organization. Lucas was recently in the national spotlight when she introduced Joe Biden, fellow anti-domestic violence advocate and then-Vice Presidential nominee, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Q: You started the Witney’s Lights organization after a tragic family event. What happened?

A: I started the organization about three years after my sister, Dr. Witney Rose, was murdered. My sister was a psychiatrist at the University of Maryland, and she was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, who had abused her throughout their relationship.

Q: Domestic violence is a taboo subject to many people. How do you reach others with your message and get them to take action?

A: I share my sister’s story, and then I tell them that domestic violence is not specific to one socioeconomic group, profession or race. This problem is much more prevalent that most people can fathom. I try to make others feel safe to share their own experiences. Then I show them how we can work together to spread awareness and increase prevention so that others don’t have to be victims.

Q: United Way of Delaware celebrates individuals like you, who make a difference in our state. What does “Living United” mean to you?

A: Living United is about living in harmony and peace, and making sure that others have the opportunity to live the same way. My goal is to show others that healthier relationships make healthier communities.

Living United Dec 2010 / Jan 2011  

This newsletter was included in The News Journal on Sunday, November 28. Look inside for articles including an update on Loans Plus and an i...

Living United Dec 2010 / Jan 2011  

This newsletter was included in The News Journal on Sunday, November 28. Look inside for articles including an update on Loans Plus and an i...