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Readers write about the United Way, Congress and baseball, bureaucracy, and online photo-sharing.

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In defense of United Way's 'Pennies for Change'

In response to Rick Cohen's Jan. 10 Opinion piece, "How a charity can hurt its cause": The United Way of America's "Pennies for Change" enables Americans to donate a penny to the United Way when using either a debit or credit card. The program's ingenuity lies in its simplicity. As people make purchases, whether big or small, they are helping to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Like contributing to a Salvation Army red kettle, financial literacy isn't required to affect a community. Just spare change.

Mr. Cohen's assertion that "Pennies for Change" undermines the United Way's efforts to enhance financial literacy is simply wrong. People can make missteps by spending big dollars on unneeded things, but not by donating pennies to people in need.

"Pennies for Change" removes barriers to philanthropy and underscores the fact that any donation, even one penny, is valuable. The average participant will give 20 cents per month, totaling $2.40 per year. Therefore, if only 1 percent of the $40 billion annual credit-card transactions go to "Pennies for Change," millions of dollars will be donated to communities throughout America.

The goal of United Way of America's "Pennies for Change" is not only to encourage philanthropy, but to provide a simple way to make a difference where you live and work.


 

Baseball's antidrug policies

Regarding the Jan. 16 article, "Pro baseball is urged to keep focus on antidrug policies": Wouldn't it be wonderful if we used the vast resources of the United States of America's legislative branch for something other than monitoring the use – or more correctly the reported use – of steroids by professional athletes? Put a law in place if you must, and ensure that drug tests are done and that the consequences and a controlling agency are named, and be done with it! All this rumor-as-fact business is just ridiculous. If players can't pass a drug test, they are out of the game. No drug test, no discussion. Let's get back to the real business of running the country, shall we?

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