United Way Fundraising Campaign Off To A Strong Start

September 27, 2018

SCRANTON — The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties raised just over $1 million since launching its 2018-19 campaign earlier this month, slightly ahead of last year and just under a third of its goal. Committee co-chairmen and organizers said the successful start is the result of a strong, tight-knit community, enthused committee members and the awareness that some people’s needs are not being met without the help of United Way. The United Way is primarily a fundraising operation that gives annual grants to its member agencies that help residents in Lackawanna and Wayne counties. The organization began its 2018-19 fundraising drive Sept. 6. As of Wednesday, the campaign raised $1,078,610 or 33.2 percent of its $3.25 million goal, officials announced Thursday. The campaign is slated to close Nov. 15 with an event at Genetti’s. This year’s initial success stems partly from the hard work of the United Way staff, but also from the strength of the community, said attorney Joseph G. Price of Dougherty, Leventhal & Price, a member of the attorneys fundraising committee. “I’m always amazed by Lackawanna County — the generosity through thick and thin,” he said. “Through the ups and downs of the economic cycle, we’ve always been there, and it’s amazing.” Despite reports of a strengthening economy, Price said people’s needs are becoming greater, citing the lack of increased funding for social programs as an example. “The needs are so much greater every year, and I sense that our community knows that,” he said. “I think, versus anything economic, it’s the knowledge that those needs are not being met, and it’s up to us to raise the money to make sure they are.” United Way President and CEO, Gary Drapek, echoed Price’s opinion. “We live in a really good community in that people get it,” Drapek said. “They understand when their neighbors are hurting. I think what they’re seeing now is that the economy overall might be doing really well, but the average person is not.” Drapek is optimistic that the trend will continue, though he says the momentum tends to slow mid-October, which requires them to make a big push at the end of October and into November. The next campaign meeting is set for Oct. 17. In addition to working towards this year’s campaign goal, the United Way also established a flood/hurricane relief fund with United Way Worldwide to donate funds to the Carolinas region. To donate to the United Way, visit www.uwlc.net. Contact the writer: drosler@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100, ext. 5365; @droslerTT on Twitter United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties Agency Partners are: American Red Cross of NEPA; The ARC of NEPA; Boys and Girls Clubs of NEPA; Catholic Social Services; Day Nursery Association; Greater Carbondale YMCA; Greater Scranton YMCA; Jewish Community Center of Scranton; Jewish Family Service of NEPA; Lackawanna Blind Association; Meals on Wheels of NEPA; NEPA Council, Boy Scouts of America; St. Joseph’s Center; The Salvation Army; Scranton Primary Health Care Center; Serving Seniors, Inc.; Telespond Senior Services; United Cerebral Palsy of NEPA; United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA; and Women’s Resource Center.

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