United Way Mahoning Valley Breaks Campaign Record

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – For the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, 2023 was a record year.

During a press conference Wednesday at Austintown Fitch High School, the organization announced that its annual campaign raised $3,742,311 last year. It was the first time the organization exceeded $3.7 million in its 105-year history.

“We are once again humbled and amazed by what the Mahoning Valley can do to help those most vulnerable. Every year we know we have an incredible task ahead of us, to raise money for our United Way-led programs as well as our nonprofit partners, and our donors step up in big ways,” said Bob Hannon, president of The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. “The last few years our campaign chairs have truly understood their assignment and set to work to raise more than the previous year. Eric and Bethany Carlson did that again for the 2023 campaign.”

The organization’s annual campaign includes workplace giving, corporate gifts, grants and foundations. But over the past decade, it has focused on diversifying funding sources. In 2023, it brought in $1.5 million in 21st Century and ESSER Grant funding for its early education programs. Both grants are through the federal government and are directed toward after-school programming and wraparound services.

Eric and Bethany Carlson served as the 2023 campaign co-chairs. Eric is the president of “Joe” Dickey Electric and a United Way board member. Bethany is an education consultant who has been involved with United Way education programming including Success By 6 and Success After 6 during her tenure at Austintown, Struthers and South Range school districts.

“We were honored when United Way approached us to co-chair the campaign, and we knew we wanted to break the record just like our predecessors because we know how important United Way’s work is to the community,” the Carlsons said in a statement. “We can see the direct impact of your generosity helping our students, their families and our seniors in need. We want to sincerely thank all of you who helped us make 2023 such a great success.”

The Carlsons have helped United Way raise more than $3 million through the annual campaign for eight straight years.

Eric is also the chair of the Volunteer Resource Center Committee, a 12,000-square-foot building expansion on Market Street in Boardman that is set to open this summer. United Way’s main offices will remain in downtown Youngstown, but the new building will allow various programs to grow and enable the organization to engage more volunteers.

“Having a front row seat to see how dedicated the Valley is through the growing volunteer base, it’s absolutely incredible to witness,” the Carlsons said. “We are proud to see how the United Way is transforming to not only meet the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors but to engage people of all ages to give their time.”

Pictured at top: From left are Eric and Bethany Carlson and Bob Hannon.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.