United Way Raises $2.9 Million in Annual Campaign

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Five months after it began its annual fundraising campaign, the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley reached its goal – and then some – raising $2,957,115, Bob Hannon announced Wednesday.

Hannon, president of the United Way, said the money raised will fund United Way’s programs such as Success By 6 and Success After 6 as well as related programs such as Help Hotline and The Salvation Army.

“It speaks volumes to the people in this community, how giving and caring they are and how they believe in the work we’re trying to accomplish,” he said. “The people in the programs we focus on will be able to continue at a very high level. The programs we do here [at Youngstown Community School have] over 100 kids this year and we want to have 115 next year.”

The results were announced at the school before the children started their work for the day. Success After 6 was launched at the school in September and is an expansion of United Way’s Success By 6 program. Both provide after-school education and activities.

Both programs have been well-received by parents and teachers as children are ensured warm meals, tutoring and recreational time as well as occasional field trips. Parents are involved in the program through classes that cover a multitude of topics, including financial literacy.

Said Tiffany Lewis, who has a son, Landon, in Success by 6: “It’s nice to know that he likes this program and that he like to learn. They’re having fun while they do this. It’s wonderful.

“This gives something for the kids to do, rather than just sit at home,” she continued. “Kids nowadays always have a phone in their hand or are playing video games. But here, they’re still learning and having fun while they do it.”

Added Pete Johnson, another parent whose son, Mason Woodall, is in Success By 6: “I want to say thank you to the donors. The kids are the true benefactors of this and it’s helping them grow, giving them a sense of purpose and they love it.”

In September, when the campaign began with the United Way’s Day of Caring cleanup events across the city, the goal was $2.6 million. A large part of this year’s donations, $150,000 according to Hannon, came from General Motors Co., which matched all donations from UAW locals 1112 and 1714 after Alan Batey, president of General Motors North American and global chief of the Chevrolet brand, attended the local Day of Caring and announced GM would match donations nationwide.

“Programs like what the United Way’s doing, with the tremendous impact they have on the community, are resonating with our workforce,” said Tom Mock, spokesman for GM’s Lordstown Assembly. “They’re seeing results and starting to move the needle. We get behind efforts like this because it’s valuable and some dollars well-spent.”

Most of the donations, Hannon added, came from existing workplaces giving more. One group that particularly stood out, he said, is teachers.

“School teacher giving was through the roof and the reason is because they see the work we’re doing in early education,” he said.

Pictured: Youngstown Community School students Mason Woodall, Grade 3; Auriel Hilton, Grade 3; Harmony Peagler, Grade 1; Te Ziah Nickerson, Grade 3; Admire Dixion, Grade 3; Quadir Coffer, Grade 3; Landon Lewis, kindergarten; Kaia Knight, Grade 3; Simon Lewis, kindergarten; Dezsiray Richards, kindergarten.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.