Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Merry Christmas and don't let the door hit you on the way out"

Peoria Journal Star reporter Phil Luciano recently wrote about a longtime United Way employee who was fired because her husband had cancer and, so he reported, was told she would miss too many days taking care of him. She stated, however, that she could continue to work her three-day-per-week schedule.

Phil interviewed one of the employee's former bosses who said she was invaluable to the organization. On the PJS Web site, a commentator who had volunteered with UW testified to this employee's wonderful qualities. Maybe the UW has some serious dirt on this 77-year-old retired farmer who has worked for the UW earning minimum wage for many years. Or maybe it's just managerial arrogance run amok. (One cynically suspects as much.)

I generally do not support the UW, although I have given minimal contributions in the past. This year, however, I left the pledge envelope on my desk unopened. I'm not even sure why, just a gut feeling that I'd had enough. Maybe I am growing more cynical in old age. I do know that I would rather give directly to some of the best organizations in our community.

Maybe employers, instead of supporting the UW campaign, should have "Give Directly" campaigns and offer to make payroll deductions to any charitable organization that an employee wishes to support. That would provide more money to organizations, as we would cut out the UW executive salaries.

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