Herald-Mail Forums

October 16, 2006

This week's question

Some members of the Hagerstown City Council have objected to a proposal to give additional time off to employees who increase their contributions to the United Way. Do you agree and if so, what would be an acceptable reward for employees who increase their donations?

Yes, I agree with the objection. I do not have a problem with encouraging contributions by incentives. Rather than giving those that increase their contributions additional time off, for every $20 contribution an entry should be made into a drawing for a single additional time-off winner. The more that is contributed, the more chances are had of winning.

In this way, the council's obligation would be limited to a single employee's wage. Those with limited discretionary income could have a chance to win the award as well as others who might be able to increase their contributions to a greater extent.

This will encourage donations across a wider range of employees. Getting the local business community to donate incentives could relieve the council's obligation and provide for a greater number of drawing winners.


No reward, if it is paid for by taxpayers who have no say in the matter. It's fine if someone offers a reward out of their own pocket. If you give them a paid day off, it's still paid for by the taxpayers. The City Council can set an example by making their own donations or joining the Day of Caring, which should be on a Saturday, not a Wednesday. Also, please give blood. The Red Cross is having a shortage.

Isn't Hagerstown a Character Counts! city? And this is National Character Counts! Month. Notice the banners all around town. Six Simple Values: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsiblity, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.

Paying or rewarding people for being a good citizen for caring about those who have so much less is lacking responsiblity by the person receiving the reward and a lack of trustworthiness and responsibility on the city's part by using tax dollars for such a thing.

An acceptable reward for people to give to charitable organzations is the joy you receive when you give. Why would anyone want to get paid for giving? What a stupid question!

Why should they be rewarded? Charity is because you want to give, not because you're paid to do it.

Charity is progressively becoming "bribery," isn't it? People no longer want to give something and get nothing. I wasn't raised this way and I think it's wrong, but that's the way it is.

If you want a "day off" incentive up for grabs, make it the "grand prize" - whomever gives the most, gets the day off. Offering gift cards and movie or theater tickets would make great incentives, too.

Others don't get time off or anything for donating so why should city employees? Seems to me they donate because it is a good cause and they get a tax deduction. That is what the rest of us get, so why should they get any more?

The reward is knowing you are helping the United Way. City employees shouldn't be given any benefit for increasing their contributions ... do state workers get time off? Do small business owners get time off? Do teachers get time off? How about stay-at-home moms who increase not only their contributions but volunteer their time? How could you possibly reward them? City employees are no better than the rest of the citizens.

Some employers have a tradition of giving time off to blood donors. I do not know of any employer who gives time off to employees who increase their contributions to the United Way.

Since this proposal is so odd, I immediately wondered: Does our county government give time off to employees who increase their contributions to the United Way?

It's just like when President Bush stood before the nation and said the "entrepreneur spirit" is going to rebuild the area hit by Katrina. You know, people wanting to make a profit, not philanthropists doing for the good of their fellow man. Charity should not be rewarded by your employer with time off.

Give them nothing. Giving is from the heart.

I do agree. Charity is about personal sacrifice to help others. If you have to be paid to do it, it's a perversion of the whole concept! If the true goal is to increase donation by employees, perhaps they should allow employees to contribute to the charity of their choice as the federal government does, rather than restrict it to the United Way.

The joy of giving like the rest of us.

How can the Hagerstown City Council be so irresponsible with its budget? Salaries are paid by tax-payers, not the council members. Employees are paid to WORK, not to volunteer.

Whoever had this idea should either pay for it him/herself, or be fired for misuse of public funds.

There should not be a reward to contribute. You contribute because you want to give to the community, not because you're expecting a reward.

Donations are a private matter that a truly charitable person would not flaunt. They should have nothing to do with a person's job. If someone is hired for 40 hours, he or she should work 40 hours.

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