United Way of PA gets $160k payday courtesy of unclaimed property

08 February 2024- Treasurer Stacy Garrity returned more than $160,000 in unclaimed property to United Way of Pennsylvania today at its headquarters in Lemoyne.

Kristen Rotz, President of United Way of Pennsylvania, and Karen Struble-Myers, CEO of United Way of the Southern Alleghenies, accepted the unclaimed property at a press conference and joined Treasurer Garrity to encourage other nonprofit organizations to search for property that may be owed to them.

“Returning unclaimed property to anyone is fantastic – but getting this money back to a nonprofit organization like United Way, which has such an incredible impact on our communities, is really exciting. This money will be used to do great things across our state. Most people think unclaimed property belongs to individuals, but there’s money available to be claimed by nonprofits and other entities like local governments and schools. I encourage anyone involved with an organization to search our database regularly. It was a pleasure to work with United Way of Pennsylvania to return this money, and I’m glad they’re helping to spread the word to other nonprofits.”
 Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity

“The Pennsylvania Treasury team has been wonderful partners in helping to honor donors’ original intent. Treasurer Garrity and her team supported an easy and accountable process to re-claim United Way properties which will be invested by our local United Ways to address community needs. We encourage all community organizations to research what might be available to their organizations. The claim process requires a limited amount of paperwork, and the payment was processed quickly.”
 President of United Way of Pennsylvania Kristen Rotz

“As our United Way has grown to cover Blair, Cambria, and Somerset Counties, the additional funding will play a vital role in expanding programs. It will allow us to have even greater community impact.”
 CEO of United Way of the Southern Alleghenies Karen Struble-Myers

The $161,778.17 returned to the United Way of Pennsylvania includes 197 individual properties ranging in value from $.10 to $54,313.42. The oldest property dates back to 1975, while the most recent is from 2019. Properties returned include funds from accounts payable checks, cashier’s checks, credit balances, uncashed checks, court deposits, and other forms of unclaimed property.

United Way of Pennsylvania determined how to distribute the properties based on the available data. Each local United Way will use the funds to support their community impact investments in improving the health, education and financial stability of community members in their respective areas.

The top five local United Way organizations receiving unclaimed property are: United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, $109,745.27; United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, $22,881.93; United Way of the Southern Alleghenies, $11,116.43; United Way of the Capital Region, $6,216.88; and United Way of Bucks County, $2,275.14.

Altogether, 27 local United Ways received unclaimed property in addition to United Way of Pennsylvania. A complete list of the funds being returned is available.

“As a board member of United Way of the Bradford Area, which serves my home county, I see the positive impacts the United Way has on my community every day.”
 Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity

United Way of Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to champion United Way as a leader and partner in building more financially resilient families and thriving communities throughout Pennsylvania. United Way of Pennsylvania envisions an inclusive, impactful, and collaborative network of United Ways working with business, community, faith, and government leaders to advance equitable access to health, education and financial stability for all Pennsylvanians. There are 43 local United Ways and two United Funds represented by United Way of Pennsylvania.

In the last fiscal year, ending June 30, 2023, Treasury returned the most unclaimed property ever in a single year – almost $274 million.

Unclaimed property can include dormant bank accounts, abandoned stocks, uncashed checks, and more. State law requires businesses to report unclaimed property to Treasury after three years of dormancy. Property is always available for the rightful owner to claim. Tangible property – often the contents of forgotten safe deposit boxes – may be auctioned after three years, but proceeds remain available to claim in perpetuity.

Military decorations and memorabilia – often turned over to Treasury from abandoned or forgotten safe deposit boxes – are never auctioned and remain in the vault for safekeeping until a veteran or their family is found. Treasurer Garrity, a veteran herself, has returned 406 military decorations and memorabilia, including 9 Purple Hearts and 3 Bronze Stars.

More than $4.5 billion in unclaimed property is currently waiting to be claimed. More than one in ten Pennsylvanians is owed unclaimed property, and the average claim is worth about $1,600.

For tips on how nonprofit organizations can search for unclaimed property, click here.