BY RICK KAZMER
United Way of the Laurel Highlands
The United Way of the Laurel Highlands is about 92% of the way to the organization's $1.15 million goal.
According to President and CEO Karen Struble Myers, it's crucially important for the annual campaign to finish strong.
“Many of the programs we support have helped children and families navigate the pandemic. With rising inflation, we know that community needs will continue to grow. Maintaining strong programming is crucial to the health and well-being of residents of our region,” she said.
The United Way funds 24 Partner Agencies with unique programs that build stronger communities around five impact areas: helping children and youth succeed; promoting health and wellness; supporting the vulnerable and aging; and strengthening and supporting families.
Several partners implement the United Way's three core initiatives in early childhood development, parental engagement and youth drug and alcohol prevention programming.
The United Way's team has been navigating the pandemic, fundraising in unique ways. With many businesses working remotely, the traditional workplace campaign model had to be adapted to suit digital and remote workplaces.
The organization added a regional diaper bank in the last year, collecting more than 23,000 diapers, which are being distributed via a network of locations from southern Somerset County to northern Cambria County, encompassing the organization's entire service area.
“Creativity and innovation are important to meeting our mission. We continue to find new ways to help, to reduce barriers and to improve community health," Struble Myers said.
On average, it costs about $38 to help someone through a United Way-funded program.
To help the United Way finish strong, and meet its goal, consider making a donation at uwlaurel.org/donate. Donations can be mailed to United Way of the Laurel Highlands, 422 Main Street, Suite 203, Johnstown PA 15901.