United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley Raises $6.6M

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley announced Wednesday that it raised $6.6 million in 2022.

More than $3.6 million was raised through the organization’s traditional campaign, which includes workplace giving, corporate gifts, grants and foundations. An additional $3 million was secured in grant funding.

Grants included $1.5 million in 21st Century and ESSER Grant funding for early education programs, and a $1.5 million federal earmark through U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office in the 2022 federal budget to build a Volunteer Response Center in the Valley.

The money raised will fund early education and emergency services programming in the Mahoning Valley.

Scott and Erica Fleming, 2022 campaign co-chairs, have helped United Way raise more than $3 million through the traditional campaign for the past seven years.

“It has been overwhelming and awe-inspiring to see so many people unite for so many great causes, giving up their precious time, money and resources for the betterment of our great community,” the Flemings said in a statement. “This has been an extraordinary experience, and we thank you for allowing us this opportunity and, more importantly, the remarkable amount of effort you and all involved have put into the United Way.”

Scott is co-president of Aim Transportation Solutions, a longtime United Way donor, and volunteer for United Way’s Saturday of Caring initiative and Success After 6 program.

Erica is co-owner of Mega Barre Youngstown and has routinely supported United Way causes like Success After 6 and Women United. She has also hosted multiple fundraisers at her business.

“United Way must be there for those in need in different and improved ways,” said Bob Hannon, president of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. “Not only have we diversified revenue by attracting more corporate donors and grant funding, but we also needed to be innovative on how we help the students and families across the Valley.”

United Way now also has six Care Closets that serve 3,300 students and their families by offering resource pantries that contain food, clothing, shoes, hygiene kits, cleaning supplies, bedding, school supplies and more. Each month, 250 families receive fresh food through the initiative.

The Success After 6 initiative serves all 19 school districts in Mahoning County, as well as Girard and Liberty in Trumbull County

The grant funding from 21st Century and ESSER, a designated amount of money from the federal government to help with learning loss experienced during COVID-19, allowed for United Way to expand its Success After 6 after-school program to two new schools – Valley Christian and Sebring – as well as continue it at its pilot school, Youngstown Community School.

United Way said this brings its total of Success After 6 programs to eight, serving 700 students in eight districts for the 2022-23 school year.

The organization was also able to partner with Sight For All United and Vision to Learn to expand its Sight For Kids program. Through this collaboration, it was able to obtain the state’s second “Vision Van,” which visits schools daily during the school year.

Students can be screened, and those who need it can see a doctor on the van at their school. Students may also receive free glasses.

This program grew from serving 2,000 students to serving 14,000 children across the region.

With United Way’s Report Card Mentoring program, which is now in three schools, mentors meet with students throughout the school year to go over their grades, attendance and behavior.

The Young Women’s Mentorship program also returned to in person and grew to two new schools. Women mentors meet either weekly or monthly with girls in grades five through eight to focus on self-esteem and social-emotional skills.

In partnership with the Muransky family, Satur-day of Caring grew to serve 425 households throughout Mahoning County. More than 150 volunteers gather every third Saturday of the month to unload, pack and deliver food to seniors, shut-ins and families unable to get out of their homes. United Way was able to engage more than 750 new volunteers through the initiative.

United Way is now in the process of building a Volunteer Resource Center. The new space will be in addition to the main office in downtown Youngstown, and it is intended to expand the ability to accept more donations and provide space for volunteers.

Pictured at top: Bob Hannon, president of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.