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UWP Update - September 14,  2018

The presentation of the Keystone Spirit of the United Way Award is pictured above featuring (left to right) Kristen Rotz, President of United Way of Pennsylvania, Thomas B. Hagen, Award Recipient, Tim NeCastro, CEO of Erie Insurance, and Bill Jackson, President of United Way of Erie County. The painting presented to Thomas Hagen is an original work by Tom Panei, a Pennsylvania artist. In the background of the photo is a portrait of Mr. Hagen's late wife, Susan Hirt Hagen. 
United Way of PA Presents 2018 Keystone Spirit of the United Way Award 

United Way of PA presented its highest annual award, the Keystone Spirit of United Way award, to Erie County resident Thomas B. Hagen at a celebration hosted by Erie Insurance on September 12, 2018. 

The Keystone Spirit of United Way Award was created by the United Way of Pennsylvania to recognize exceptional and sustained volunteer and philanthropic leadership. The criteria for selection of an honoree reflect a philanthropic impact and personal commitment of time and talents reaching across community borders to highlight the interdependence and opportunities of the United Way network across Pennsylvania. The winner shows exceptional and sustained engagement with United Way in their own community, personal commitment to the voluntary system of human services as demonstrated by gifts of time and financial resources, with United Way being the main focus of his or her efforts, and a quality of performance that inspires others to serve.

"Mr. Hagen's impact in Erie County has been far-reaching, from fighting against poverty and for affordable housing, to mentoring young leaders. But he has always been steadfast in his commitment to investing in the community through United Way. This is what made him stand out in a very impressive field of nominees," Kristen Rotz, President of United Way of Pennsylvania, said.

"Tom is a friend and a mentor," said Tim NeCastro, CEO of Erie Insurance Group. "The impact of his leadership extends beyond our company, our community and our state. Through his selfless giving of time, talent and philanthropic support, Tom has lifted the lives of so many and his work is leaving an indelible mark that will have influence far into the future."

Hagen was nominated for this award by United Way of Erie County President Bill Jackson, who said, "Tom started as a United Way campaign volunteer decades ago and as he rose in the ranks of leadership, he never stopped being a tireless ambassador and advocate for United Way. As Chairman of the Boards of both Erie Insurance Group, where he is a former CEO, and Custom Group Industries, he has promoted a spirit of giving to United Way as part of the corporate social responsibility for these companies."

The Honorable Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf sent his congratulations, stating, "Tom's passion and commitment to the United Way is improving the lives of thousands of his neighbors, and it is making Erie County stronger. As a member of the Tocqueville Society of United Way of York County, I am proud to join the United Way of Pennsylvania in honoring Tom for his generosity and leadership."

For the full press release and media contact details, please visit UWP's media toolbox

SNAP Advocacy Update   

Both the House and Senate are back to work in Washington, which means priorities are starting to take shape with the approaching September 30th budget deadline.  

UWP has been working diligently with UWW and several local United Ways to advocate for SNAP with our House and Senate members. We have participated in several meetings with various legislative offices, including House members where we discussed our concerns with their version of the bill.  We have made progress in our discussions and are hopefully the final version will include the bipartisan passed Senate version of SNAP.  

With only a couple weeks left until the September 30th deadline, it is imperative we keep up the pressure to ensure SNAP is protected in the final version of the Farm Bill.  You can help by encouraging your network to take action to contact their local congressional members.  We will have more updates as the month continues. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding our SNAP advocacy please reach out to Maggie

As you may recall, earlier this year the House passed their version of the Farm Bill which made significant changes to SNAP including changes to work requirements that could have negative impacts on current SNAP recipients, including nearly 1.9 million Pennsylvanians.  The Senate took a different approach and passed a bipartisan version of the Farm Bill that actually strengthened SNAP.  To come to a consensus, there was a 57-member conference committee assigned to discuss the differences in both chambers.  Last week this committee met for the first time to discuss the bill and it is expected they will be able to iron-out final details by later this month or early October. 

Webinar for UWP members to discuss evidence-based approaches for fighting the opioid epidemic

Prescription drugs are essential to improving the quality of life for millions of Americans living with acute or chronic pain. However, misuse, abuse, addiction, and overdose of these products, especially opioids, have become serious public health problems in Pennsylvania. There are methods and programs that have proven successful in communities at fighting the opioid epidemic.

This webinar will give a broad view of the opioid epidemic across Pennsylvania and highlight regions that have been struck particularly hard. A picture will be provided of how opioid abuse effects many more people than those addicted and human service agencies in all areas. 

Three evidence based approaches to preventing and combating opioid abuse will be presented. United Ways who are seeking to fund or partner with programs and attend this webinar will have a better understanding of strategies that have been successful in communities and potential state and federal grant funding opportunities. 




REMINDER: UWP Public Policy discussion open to all members next Sept. 21 
 
Next Friday, September 21st, UWP will be holding our September Public Policy meeting that is open for our members and staff to participate in.  We have a guest speaker, Laura Saccente, Director of the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network, who will be discussing the PASmart initiative launched by the Administration over the summer. The initiative focuses on workforce development, which is a policy area UWP is looking to engage more.  Following our guest speaker, we will hold our regular committee meeting with lots of updates from what is going on federal to the fall outlook here in PA.   
 
We hope you will join us for this informative meeting! To register, please follow this link
UWP experiencing cloud outage which impacts all aspects of our operations 

United Way of Pennsylvania's cloud service company, UDNI, suffered a brute force attack which shut down systems, including three data centers, in the last week of August. The system was briefly restored over Labor Day weekend, but had to be shut down again early in the morning the day after Labor Day because of evidence of a second attack.

The company has hired a forensics specialist to make sure all resources are clean of viruses, malware, etc., in hopes that the second restoration to service will be permanent. The FBI is also involved in this matter. At this point in time, they have not been able to identify any data breaches, but the process of scrubbing files is ongoing.

UWP was restored to basic email functioning on September 7. However, we do not currently have access to any received mail or sent items prior to that date. There was a period of several days in the week after the holiday when we may not have received emails, and the sender may not have received any bounceback messages. We know there are still emails we are not receiving at this point in time. We also only have calendar appointments which may or may not have been backed up on individual staff cell phones.

This outage has been crippling. We are sharing this information with members to make you aware of a couple of things.
  • Our ability to communicate directly with our network of members is greatly impacted. We have lost access to the contact lists we normally use to push out updates by email to all members.
  • If you have reached out to us by email, but have not yet received a response, it is very likely related to this outage. Please try again - all staff are now able to receive and send emails.
  • Although we can send and receive emails, we don't have access to any of our files. They were all stored in the cloud. So some of you are waiting for answers to questions based on historical information that we simply can't access right now.
  • Our web-based services that we rely on, such as Zoom meetings, Constant Contact, and Pennsylvania Legislative Services, are all still functioning.
UDNI has placed UWP in the last group of users whose cloud services will be restored. This has been anticipated for the week of September 17, but it sounds like they are behind their original schedule and if we actually are restored during that week, it will not happen until the end of the week.

If local United Ways are contemplating cloud computing, please feel free to reach out to Kristen Rotz ( krotz@uwp.org) for more information on lessons we learned.

 


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