Giving to the United Way benefits our community

Executive Director of United Way of Fulton County

It’s another campaign year at United Way, and the economic climate in our community continues to be challenging. During the first three months of our campaign, we realized a surge in generosity and took in over $30,000, toward our ultimate campaign goal of $160,000. We have a long way to go to meet that goal.

As the calendar year ends, I encourage those who have not yet invested in our community through United Way to take a moment to do so.  I can’t think of a better gift to Fulton County than your contribution to a program, through our network of care agencies, who help the people who live right here. Thank you to our loyal donors for your support during this past year. More than ever, we need your continued commitment to helping United Way to help others.

We all know people- our friends, our neighbors, perhaps a co-worker, or an extended family member, who have been significantly impacted by a challenge or significant circumstances over which they have little or no control. These people could be any one of us, and like us, never dreamed that they would be in a position of needing help from an organization such as United Way of Fulton County and our affiliated agencies and programs.

Working together and putting your investment in Fulton County in United Way, we can raise the quality of life of our entire community. United toward a common cause, we can all do our part to make a difference.

Here are five lucrative reasons to give to United Way as expressed by their agency leaders:

∫ Catholic Charities of Fulton County provides emergency assistance such as utility and fuel help, housing assistance and in some cases, assistance with medical needs, travel and food.  Approximately 34% of United Way funds will help families avoid homelessness; 60% will help families maintain adequate utility provisions; 3% will help families avoid increased medical problems or hospital stays, and 3% will help families travel to work or other essential destinations. During the first quarter of 2017 funding, covering the period of July, August, and September of 2016, Catholic Charities served 11 families, consisting of 26 members of said families.

∫ Foothills United Methodist Church’s food pantry served 201 households, including 151 children, 266 adults, and 45 elderly (July-September 2016). Our challenge each month is being able to accommodate the increasing demand of the food pantry. One in six Americans nationally may not know where to find their next meal this holiday season. United Way helps bridge the gap in our community.

∫ The Mental Health Association in Fulton County has a Community Educator, thanks in part to United Way funding. From July-September of 2016, 394 individuals were served through fourteen presentations at schools and community agencies. The programs presented were three separate story hours- “From Zero to Hero”: Exploring your self-worth at the Gloversville Library, Johnstown Public Library and Rainbow Playschool. Mental Health First Aid training at the MHA office, and two presentations of Stress Management and Coping Skills to Gloversville Middle School students; eight separate presentations of Teen Depression and Suicide Awareness at the Johnstown High School; a presentation at our own United Way Kick Off Breakfast, and a sleep wellness interactive event at the Paul Nigra Center, were a few of the programs thanks to United Way’s allocations.

∫ The NOAH (No One Alone Hungry) program, housed at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Johnstown, receives funding from the United Way of Fulton County. From July-September, NOAH served 1,957 free hot meals. 233 children, ages infant to 17 years, 1,431 adults, aged 18-64, and 293 elderlies, aged 65+ were served.

∫ The Salvation Army’s Food Pantry from July-September, served 443 individuals, providing groceries. During the same period 154 clothing and furniture vouchers were issued, and 3,928 individuals received free produce and baked goods. One thousand, eight hundred and eighty-one people were fed in the soup kitchen in three months.

United Way’s dollars are certainly at work in Fulton County! We have two in- house agency programs to help individuals with no cost hygiene items and household items, by referral, thanks to the  donor generosity

During this season of holiday cheer, goodwill and charitable giving, New Year’s resolutions and new beginnings, please take the time to invest in Fulton County by writing your check to our United Way. Please work with me to meet the ever- growing need in our area, and make our campaign goal for 2017. Our mailing address is: United Way of Fulton County, P O Box 911, Gloversville, NY 12078.

On behalf of the board of directors, our families and associate agencies and volunteers, we wish you the warmest of season’s greetings and thank you in advance.

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