Via Diane Student on Facebook, tonight’s broadcast of Freedom’s Wings will examine a disturbing incident involving United Way (an organization for which I have no respect, based on professional experience) and the Sandy Hook massacre. As reported by From The Trenches:
On December 11 Google Indexed the United Way website that offered condolences to the family’s of Sandy Hook.
Below is a excerpt from the December 11 united Way page. Don’t we all love a good conspiracy?
United Way extends our most sincere condolences and prayers to all those families affected by the devastating events in Newtown/Sandy Hook, Connecticut. While the eyes of the world may be on Newtown/Sandy Hook, to several staff, volunteers and contributors, Newtown is home. We will stand with the community and everyone affected directly and indirectly by this tragic event as we face the days and weeks ahead.
United Way of Western Connecticut is committed to providing support and resources where and when they become identified and needed. As people from our area and beyond respond to this heartbreaking tragedy, they are turning to United Way looking for ways to help. In response, United Way of Western Connecticut in partnership with Newtown Savings Bank has created the ‘Sandy Hook School Support Fund’ that will be able to provide support services to the families and community that has been affected.
While I am not one to traffic in conspiracy theories, this does raise plenty of questions which I know will be thoroughly examined by Diane during the show tonight. At the very least, it wouldn’t surprise me if United Way was involved in some nefarious machinations with respect to Sandy Hook. It’s a corrupt organization that somehow has the public hoodwinked to believe otherwise, which is why so many corporations are enamored with conducting annual giving campaigns.
If possible, I am going to call in to the show live tonight to express my disgust with United Way and with companies that force their employees to enroll in automatic payroll deduction to support this unworthy charity. During my tenure at the now-defunct Washington Mutual Bank in South Florida, I held a position in that encompassed both the marketing and community relations departments. For the most part, I loved my job. Although my boss and I were on opposite sides of the political spectrum, she always treated me fairly and consistently gave me interesting projects to work on. The two other women in our office were also great company, particularly our administrative assistant, whom I suspect was similar to me politically speaking, though she would never admit it outright, mainly for understandable reasons of job security and privacy. Since the other two were often traveling, she and I would frequently have some interesting conversations about culture, politics, dating and life in general.
But every year I dreaded one of my biggest responsibilities: managing the annual corporate-mandated giving campaign for United Way. Together with my boss, I’d have to attend lavish kick-off luncheons in each of the counties in South Florida, where I’d sit and wonder how much money had been wasted as I listened to phony United Way CEOs who were making six-figure incomes rhapsodize about the joy of giving and how much they loved their communities.
As distasteful as such hypocrisy was to endure, having to watch area and regional managers pressure their financial center managers — who in turn, strong-armed their mostly low-level financial center employees — into signing up for automatic payroll deduction was even worse. The Miami-Dade regional manager was especially notorious for using fear tactics to get her employees to fall in line, whether or not they could afford it or had legitimate moral objections to the United Way.
In my travels, many employees would tell me privately how they strongly objected to United Way’s support of organizations that promoted abortion, and/or that they preferred to donate through their churches, synagogues or other organizations they found to be more deserving of their hard-earned money.
No matter. Those who didn’t make the corporation look good via payroll deduction to United Way were at the very least, looked down upon. I can’t say with certainty that these people were denied promotions or raises as a result of standing on principle since I was not privy to that information, but I can say for sure that many were chastised for not being “team players”.
One day toward the end of one particular year’s campaign, I overheard a conversation between my boss and the area manager in which both
emphatically agreed that any Washington Mutual employee that didn’t support United Way was “selfish”. Later when I theorized to my boss that perhaps many of these people already give to their preferred charities or to their churches, she seemed pretty unconvinced. Nor was she moved by my opinion that tellers who were only making an average of $8 per hour before taxes really shouldn’t be expected to participate.
It was all about making the bank look good, of course. When the dollar amount of employees’ collective commitment was tallied and determined to have reached the required minimum, Washington Mutual Bank would then match that amount. In my naivete, I used to wonder why the bank didn’t just write their own check to United Way if they believed it was such a fabulous organization. Why force employees to do the same?
And yet, in order to keep my job and stay in good graces with those who determined my pay raises and bonuses, I dutifully and grudgingly signed up for payroll deduction every year.
Which is why I can relate so well to this post shared by Diane:
So your employer is forcing you to give to the United Way…
When has giving become a law and why are people that give being looked down on?
Pressure to give:
Like most organizations, United Way is one of the most crooked “charity” organizations that pays millions to board members to where only 3 cents on a dollar goes to charities.
So why do people who give to local food banks and other organizations directly being looked down on and harassed by their employers like “greedy bastards” for refusing to give or not increasing contributions through payroll deductions? The answer is simple: “To make the company look good”. All corporations want to have a pleasing public perception, having 100% employee participation give the organizers a feel good and speaks highly of the company, no kickbacks or other sinister motives. On a personal note United Way somehow has become really big with my supermarket with millions of contributions each year, setting their outrageous yearly donation goals higher and higher sucking the money from mostly low-income workers. Managers are expected to give and others simply grind their teeth and give after being fed the “brainwashing b.s.”
Read the rest here. All these years later and it feels good to get these feelings out, now that there are no repercussions for being one of the many who rightfully view United Way as nothing more than a scam.