I just saw the LaDainian Tomlinso. united way commercial.
I really wish people would stop falling for the greedy hucksters at the historically corrupt United Way. Nearly as bad as the god bothering homophobes of the Boy Scouts of America.
If I am going to give money, I generally give straight to the point at which the rubber meets the road. I have a general distrust of bureaucracy and national umbrella groups in general. This means giving to a local women's health clinic, giving to our local charity for the poor (run by a consortium of local churches) while I will never advocate giving to, for instance, Catholic Charities, based on several principles.
Always do your research, and if you do, you'll learn to starve the execs at the United Way.