Here is the problem:

“… childhood poverty comes at great cost to the general public … including higher welfare costs, jail time, and criminal behavior when these children reach adolescence and adulthood (Halpern, 2005).

Here is the solution:

“… investments in programs that can assist children who begin life at significant disadvantage are likely to be more efficient and cost-effective than later efforts to remediate the difficulty that disadvantageous circumstances have created and sustained. Thompson, Lagattuta, Rivera, Work Skill Development and Early Childhood Investment, Center for Public Policy Research, p.27, 2005.

More and more research supports investing in early childhood development programs. Returns on investment range from 2:1 to 17:1. Those are rates of return most investors never see!

United Way of Central Jersey invites you to join those who have already chosen to focus on preventing problems from developing in our community. By focusing on children and families, UWCJ seeks to achieve long-lasting change.

“…high quality, educational child care and preschool for low-income children by age 15 reduces special education placements and grade retentions by 50% compared to controls; by age 21, more than doubles the proportion attending 4-year college and reduces percentage of teenage parents by 44% (US Department of Education, December 2003, p. iii as cited by Halpern, 2005)

Thank you for helping in your community in the past. I know most people care about their local communities – especially now, when so many families are having to grapple with lost jobs and higher costs. If you have already made a donation this year, please accept our thanks.

What if you do not help?

Here are just a few of the consequences:

  • 100 first time mothers, low income and at-risk of raising children in poverty, will be in jeopardy of losing support unless you help.
  • Over 30 two and three year olds now in the middle of a two year early literacy program will be at risk of losing the progress they’ve made.
  • Thousands of low-income families who receive scholarships for pre-school and funded preventive health care could be forced into higher cost, for-profit services.

Why is it up to you?

  • We are suffering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
  • Donations to Social Service charities are down 12.7% nationally and 5% for United Way in the Central Jersey area.
  • Unemployment is at the highest level since the 1980’s and home foreclosures are at record levels.
  • Needs in the community are higher while the resources to help are lower.

What can you do with $2 a week?

  • 8 hours of chores services to a home bound senior or disabled person
  • 2 nights of shelter for a homeless adult or child
  • 2 after-school mentoring sessions for an 8th grader
  • 10 home-delivered meals to a homebound elderly person
  • One doctor visit for an uninsured child or adult
  • Three hours of tutoring for school age children

All people, no matter what their position or means, have a role to play in advancing the common good. Your investment is needed more today because of the extraordinary crisis in our economy. Please give generously:

If you have something better to do with your $2 a week, then I’d like to hear about it.
Please call me to discuss: 732 247-3727

Yours sincerely,
Gloria Aftanski, President
Chief Professional Officer