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United Way of Wyoming Valley is pleased to announce that its 2019 Annual Campaign will be led by community leaders Alana Roberts and Tom Makowski!

Read all about it in the these articles from the Citizens’ Voice and Times Leader!

Citizens’ Voice Article: https://www.citizensvoice.com/arts-living/united-way-names-chairs-of-2019-annual-campaign-1.2519711

Times Leader Article: https://www.timesleader.com/news/752617/united-way-annual-campaign-begins-sept-12-roberts-makowski-co-chairs

United Way wins $25,000 grant to expand nurse's pantry into more schools

The United Way of Wyoming Valley was named the winner of a $25,000 grant from the Luzerne Foundation’s Millennium Circle Fund to expand a nurse’s pantry into more area schools. Bill Jones, president and CEO of the United Way of Wyoming Valley, was one of five finalists who made presentations at the Millennium Circle’s luncheon today at Best Western Plus Genetti Hotel and Conference Center to try to obtain the grant.

Read more at https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/united-way-wins-25-000-grant-to-expand-nurse-s-pantry-into-more-schools-1.2402354

Their view: ‘Babies are a great way to start people’

Recently, one of the corporate leaders from Berkshire Hathaway Guard Insurance, a company that is very supportive of the United Way of Wyoming Valley, stood before many of her peers to talk about why she supports the work of the United Way. She eloquently shared a very personal story of her 5-year-old daughter and a gift she received at the baby shower just before her daughter was born.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/opinion/op-ed/722113/their-view-babies-are-a-great-way-to-start-people

Wilkes-Barre Area School District presents award to United Way of Wyoming Valley

The Wilkes-Barre Area School District recently presented United Way of Wyoming Valley with a special award for its work to help district students achieve greater success in school. The award was presented in recognition of United Way programs and initiatives at elementary schools in the district, including the Real Men Read, Turn the Page, and Nurse’s Pantry program, as well as other efforts to promote grade-level reading.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/features/721152/wilkes-barre-area-school-district-presents-award-to-united-way-of-wyoming-valley

United Way focused on critical issues

Nearly 300 years ago, Benjamin Franklin, one of our country’s most influential Founding Fathers, was obsessively worried about how well the residents of the city of Philadelphia responded to and fought fires. He often wrote about these concerns in his newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette.

Read more at https://www.citizensvoice.com/opinion/united-way-focused-on-critical-issues-1.2391399

Our View: A little bit of ice cream can go a long way

Diamonds to the United Way of Wyoming Valley for the “make your own sundae” event at Kistler Elementary School. It’s a small thing, giving children a scoop or two of ice cream in a throw-away bowl with a plastic fork and choice of a few toppings, but it can have a lifetime impact. The treats were rewards to students who had read all the recommended books through the summer, and that can prevent the very real “summer slide” in learning too common in youngsters, particularly those from low-income families. The slide, in turn, can set a student back when school resumes, further frustrating them into giving up. If a little ice cream keeps them at their best in school advancing academically, more power to all involved.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/opinion/editorials/719937/their-view-a-little-bit-of-ice-cream-can-go-a-long-way

Governor's Listening Tour Stops by Wilkes-Barre

The opioid epidemic is taking its toll on families in our region and across the country. The Wolf Administration kicked off its "listening tour" Wednesday morning at United Way of Wyoming Valley in Wilkes-Barre. Officials met with grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. They shared their stories and discussed the need for improved services, support systems, and resources.

Read more at https://www.pahomepage.com/news/governor-s-listening-tour-stops-by-wilkes-barre/1478719451

Advantage Credit Counseling Service receives grant from United Way

United Way of Wyoming Valley recently presented Advantage Credit Counseling Service with a grant check for $20,000. United Way, under its “Poverty to Possibilities” initiative, has awarded this funding to provide financial counseling to lower income residents in the Wyoming Valley.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/features/719541/advantage-credit-counseling-service-receives-grant-from-united-way

“I Read, You Read, We All Read for Ice Cream”

Kids at Kistler Elementary School were rewarded for reading over the summer with ice cream. What better way to end the summer season than with an ice cream party? "I was getting really excited because I've never had an ice cream party before and this is going to be my first one," fourth grader Teagen Butler said.

Read more at https://wnep.com/2018/09/21/i-read-you-read-we-all-read-for-ice-cream/

Tears, Applause As Powerful Speakers Launch United Way Campaign

There was a time when Brooke Rowe feared her son Noah would never speak. “When he was about one-and-a-half, I started seeing things I didn’t want to admit at first,” the Dallas woman told a packed ballroom Thursday night at the kickoff for the United Way of Wyoming Valley’s 2018 giving campaign. Noah wouldn’t talk. He wasn’t making any sounds. He wouldn’t play with his toys, Rowe recalled, but would only organize and sort them on the floor.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/news/718051/tears-applause-as-powerful-speakers-launch-united-way-campaign

Additional Articles:
* https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/united-way-kicks-off-fundraising-campaign-1.2385592

* https://www.pahomepage.com/news/campaign-kickoff-for-united-way-of-wyoming-valley/1442276135

Nurse's Pantry: Curing Chronic Absenteeism

With the school year barely underway, a new program aims to keep kids healthy, in school, and learning. The goal is to provide what many households may take for granted that are real obstacles for others. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller shows us what the program is all about. It's not first aid kits, band aids or cough drops inside what's called the Nurse's Pantry at Daniel J. Flood Elementary School. "Hygiene is a big issue with our kids," said Maura Mattick, RN who is the school nurse.

Watch the video at https://www.pahomepage.com/news/nurse-s-pantry-curing-chronic-absenteeism/1423601539

Additional Articles:
* https://www.timesleader.com/news/717345/united-way-teams-with-wilkes-barre-area-to-insure-student-health

* https://www.timesleader.com/opinion/editorials/717562/our-view-the-need-for-nurses-pantry-program-is-crystal-clear

Letter to the Editor: United Way Puts Love Into Action Every Day

What do a Catholic priest from California, a local school teacher and the Beatles all have in common? Other than this sounding like the start of a corny joke, as the United Way of Wyoming Valley begins to prepare for our 97th annual fundraising campaign, I am thinking about the very meaningful words and thoughts from each that I believe reflect on the work of the United Way.

The United Way’s campaign kickoff event will be held Sept. 13 at Mohegan Sun Pocono. It is always a great event and if you truly want to be inspired, I invite you to attend. Our keynote speaker will be Father Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest from Los Angeles. He is the founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest employer of gang-affiliated and previously incarcerated individuals in the country.

Read more at https://citizensvoice.com/opinion/united-way-puts-love-into-action-every-day-1.2380730

United Way Campaign Kickoff Set For Sept. 13

The Rev. Greg Boyle will deliver the keynote address at the United Way of Wyoming Valley 2018 campaign kickoff event 5:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Mohegan Sun Pocono. Boyle, who is a bestselling author, leads Homeboy Industries, which employs former gang members in a variety of businesses from screen printing to a farmers market to a bakery.

United Way of Wyoming Valley’s 2018 Campaign Kickoff initiates the fifth year of United Way of Wyoming Valley’s Poverty to Possibility Movement, aimed at developing long term solutions to reducing childhood poverty in the region by supporting new and existing strategies in the areas of education, income and health.

Read more at https://citizensvoice.com/news/united-way-campaign-kickoff-set-for-sept-13-1.2380322

Additional Articles:
* https://www.timesleader.com/news/717028/priest-who-helped-rehabilitate-gang-members-to-speak-at-united-way-kickofff

United Way Launches Program to Teach Basic Employment Skills

“As the Baby Boomer generation retires, technology evolves and the unemployment rate drops, employers everywhere are challenged to find employees with the skills needed to meet the demands of the current and future workplaces,” United Way Executive Director Bill Jones said in brief remarks introducing the new YES program.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/news/715299/united-way-launches-program-to-teach-basic-employment-skills

Additional Articles:
* https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/program-helps-students-prepare-for-workforce-1.2374763

* https://www.pahomepage.com/news/career-readiness-program-for-wyoming-valley-high-school-students/1377236147

Your View: United Way Thankful Christmas In July Support

On behalf of the United Way of Wyoming Valley, allow me to extend my most sincere gratitude to the business, organizations and individuals who supported our 30th Annual Christmas in July Drive for Feeding and Reading held last week. This year, 43 businesses and organizations participated in the drive. In total, 15,902 pounds of food were collected and $31,116.62 dollars were raised.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/opinion/letters/713569/you-view-united-way-thankfull-christmas-in-july-support

United Way Announces Chairs Of Annual Campaign

United Way of Wyoming Valley announced its 2018 Annual Campaign will be led by community leaders Tara Mugford Wilson and Scott Lynett. Both Wilson and Lynett are members of the Board of Directors of United Way of Wyoming Valley, and have been long-time supporters of and advocates for the mission of United Way of Wyoming Valley.

Read more at https://www.citizensvoice.com/arts-living/united-way-announces-chairs-of-annual-campaign-1.2368311

United Way 5K Looks To Make Strides In Fight Against Childhood Poverty

The United Way of Wyoming Valley hosted its first-ever 5K run/walk Saturday to benefit their fight to end childhood poverty. The event, which was held in conjunction with the Keystone State Games, was held in Wilkes-Barre.

Read more at https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/united-way-5k-looks-to-make-strides-in-fight-against-childhood-poverty-1.2367182

United Way of Wyoming Valley Christmas In July Weigh-In

TUnited Way of Wyoming Valley's Christmas in July drive for feeding and reading competition wrapped up Friday. All the food collected was delivered to the Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank in Pittston to be weighed in.

Watch the video at https://www.pahomepage.com/news/united-way-of-wyoming-valley-christmas-in-july-weigh-in/1330088663

United Way of Wyoming Valley Plans 5K Run/Walk

Staff from United Way of Wyoming Valley recently met with members of its Young Professionals Society and other community volunteers to plan its inaugural “5K for United Way” to fight childhood poverty. The run/walk, which will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 28, at Public Square, downtown Wilkes-Barre, is an official event of the Keystone State Games.

Read more at https://www.citizensvoice.com/arts-living/united-way-of-wyoming-valley-plans-5k-run-walk-1.2365702

Free Program Provides Money Counseling To Low-Income People

There's help for local families seeking to rise from poverty. A free program is providing welfare recipients and low-income individuals a serious "hand up". Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller explains how the program works. It's considered a golden opportunity for low income families to get their financial footing. But before Amy Rawls found out about Advantage Credit Counseling Services of NEPA's Financial Counseling and Debt Rehabilitation Program, she had some serious questions. "What can I do? How can I get forward?," said the Hanover Township woman.

Read more at https://www.pahomepage.com/news/credit-counseling-program-offers-families-hand-up-/1308202597

Their View: Events Make For Busy Summer At United Way

A couple of weeks ago, my niece from North Georgia got married, and I took some time off to spend an enjoyable week with family. Of my three siblings, two live out of state, and it is hard for the four of us to get together as often as we would like to. Yet, when we do, it is non-stop laughing, teasing, reminiscing and, of course, eating. When we are together, it is always about the food! No sooner do we get done with one meal, we are planning the next. While I hate to admit it, my plate was always full and, given my new love affair with grits, I easily went up a few pounds that week.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/opinion/op-ed/711438/their-view-events-make-for-busy-summer-at-united-way

United Way, YMCA Partner To Bring Food And Books To Local Kids

Clutching a “Firehouse Tales” children’s book, a wide-eyed, smiling and clearly excited 3-year-old Zack Perez bounded over to his great-grandmother to show her his new treasure. Zack was followed shortly by his grinning brother, Zane, 4, who was eager to show her his copy of a “Phineas and Ferb” tome based on the Disney Channel animated series.

Read more at https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/united-way-ymca-partner-to-bring-food-and-books-to-local-kids-1.23608561

United Way Salutes Outgoing Board Chairman

United Way of Wyoming Valley recently thanked Pat Endler, outgoing chairman of the United Way of Wyoming Valley Board of Directors, for his years of service. From left, are Bill Jones, United Way’s president/CEO; Pat Endler, outgoing board chairman, and Troy Standish, incoming board chairman.

Read more at https://www.citizensvoice.com/arts-living/united-way-salutes-outgoing-board-chairman-1.2357071

Their View: Sordoni, Henry Were Truly In A League Of Their Own

In 1992, a new movie featuring a well-known cast was released and instantly became a fan favorite. Most of us would recall “A League of Their Own,” a fictional account of the real life Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during the 1940s, starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell and others.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/opinion/op-ed/708220/their-view-sordoni-martz-were-truly-in-a-league-of-their-own

Mohegan Sun Arena, Grotto Pizza Partner to ‘Lay the Smackdown On Hunger’

The SMG-managed Mohegan Sun Arena, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Township, announced today that it has partnered with Grotto Pizza in support of the United Way Wyoming Valley’s Christmas in July Food Drive.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/features/709524/mohegan-sun-arena-grotto-pizza-partner-to-lay-the-smackdown-on-hunger

More Than $182G Going To Local Food And Shelter Programs

Eight local programs that serve at-risk individuals and families will receive needed funding through the Luzerne County board for the national Emergency Food and Shelter Program.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/news/707618/more-than-182g-going-to-local-food-and-shelter-programs

Additional Articles:
* https://www.pahomepage.com/news/help-for-non-profits-helping-at-risk-individuals/1237266533

Community Comes Together To Stop "Summer Slide"

The choices seemed endless. There was everything from fables to humorous fiction. Samiyah Burke was one of the many students at Kistler Elementary School who had the chance to add up to six books to their personal reading collection for free.

Watch the video at http://www.pahomepage.com/news/community-comes-together-to-stop-summer-slide-/1208783283

Additional Photos:
* Citizens' Voice Photo Gallery

* More Photos by United Way (Facebook)

United Way Announces Grant Recipients

More than 21 area nonprofits will receive grants from the United Way of Wyoming Valley, totaling more than $1.2 million dollars worth of aid.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/news/705863/united-way-announces-grant-recipients

Additional Articles:
* http://www.pahomepage.com/news/investing-in-community-the-united-way-/1206700896

Their View: A Renewed Appreciation Of Parents

A couple of weeks ago, I had a rare opportunity to tour the Susquehanna Power Plant in Salem Township. This was a fascinating experience for me because I know very little about the generation and transmission of electricity. I am the kind of guy that walks into a room, flips the switch and expects the light to go on. If it doesn’t, I know enough to change the light bulb and barely enough to check the circuit breaker, but beyond that, it is time to call an expert.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/opinion/op-ed/704699/their-view-a-renewed-appreciation-of-parents

Hundreds Take Part In Anuual Day of Caring

The United Way of Wyoming Valley held it's 26th annual Day of Caring on Thursday. More than 900 volunteers from 70 local businesses and organizations helped out at 62 locations across Wyoming Valley.

Read more at http://citizensvoice.com/news/hundreds-take-part-in-annual-day-of-caring-1.2338559

View Our Photo Gallery:
* https://www.facebook.com/pg/uwwvalley/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2160213787327250

Their View: Still Learning Lessons From Mister Rogers

I was a few months shy of my 5th birthday when I started kindergarten in 1968. At that age, I had no idea that 1968 was such a troubling, but influential, year. I was too young to know who the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. or Sen. Robert Kennedy were and what their assassinations would mean to our nation.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/opinion/op-ed/700078/their-view-still-learning-lessons-from-mister-rogers

Additional Articles:
* http://citizensvoice.com/opinion/mr-rogers-lessons-still-meaningful-today-1.2326252

‘Dinners for Kids’ Honors Two At First Annual Event

A “Dinners for Kids” celebration at Misericordia University on Wednesday raised money to feed area children while bringing supporters together for a good meal and great time. “Dinners for Kids” is a nonprofit founded by Edna and David Tevet, former owners of Ollie’s Restaurant in Edwardsville. The group provides balanced meals to at-risk children six days a week.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/news/local/699812/dinners-for-kids-honors-two-at-first-annual-eventl

Berwick United Way Slates $120G For Area But Likely Missed Goal

Supporters of the Berwick Area United Way celebrated the end of their last campaign as an independent chapter Wednesday night, along with their new partnership with United Way of Wyoming Valley.

Read more at http://www.pressenterpriseonline.com/daily/032218/page/1/story/berwick-united-way-slates-120g-for-area-but-likely-missed-goal

Their view: A Little Kindness Can Go A Long Way

American novelist, Henry James, once said, “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” If you are like me, you might be wishing there was a bit more kindness going around. I am increasingly frustrated with what is making the news these days and sick and tired of the senseless violence, crime, abuse of power, divisive politics, and the never-ending blame game at all levels of government. Sometimes there are moments when I am just about ready to stop watching the news and shut off my social media accounts.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/opinion/op-ed/696756/their-view-a-little-kindness-can-go-a-long-way

Additional Articles:
* http://citizensvoice.com/opinion/kindness-can-make-a-difference-1.2314677

United Ways of Wyoming Valley and Berwick to merge

The Berwick Area United Way will officially merge with the United Way of Wyoming Valley with a few signatures on a document Thursday. Under the merger agreement, Berwick Area United Way will become a division of United Way of Wyoming Valley. Details of the merger will be released at that time.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/news/local/696310/united-ways-of-wyoming-valley-and-berwick-to-merge

Additional Articles:
* http://www.pressenterpriseonline.com/daily/031118/page/8/story/donors-agency-beneficiaries-can-vote-on-merger

* http://www.pressenterpriseonline.com/daily/031118/page/1/story/plunging-donations-a-threat-treasurer-says

Front Porch Project Tackles Child Absue

The United Way of Wyoming Valley partnered with Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance and NAACP of Wilkes-Barre for this presentation at Wilkes University. "You don't have to be a social worker to be involved. You can just be an interested individual. You see something at the grocery story or at the church, you can be involved and diffuse the situation," said NAACP Wilkes-Barre President Guerline L. Laurore.

Read more at http://www.pahomepage.com/news/front-porch-project-tackles-child-abuse/1021810114

Additional Articles:
* http://citizensvoice.com/news/county-ranks-6th-in-child-abuse-cases-1.2311704

Imagine This!

The United Way of Wyoming Valley sponsors the local program. It has registered 3,184 youngsters since its launch in 2014. Keira was eligible as a pre-kindergarten student and now that she is 5 years old and headed to kindergarten in the fall, she graduates from the Imagination Library.

Read more at http://www.pahomepage.com/news/front-porch-project-tackles-child-abuse/1021810114

Additional Articles:
* http://www.pahomepage.com/news/children-celebrate-reading-in-honor-of-dr-seuss/1004511664

Shopping Spree Winner Gives Haul To Women’s Shelter

Ann Opiela pushes a shopping cart on a 2 minute shopping spree at Wegmans, Wilkes-Barre Township , Pa., Tuesday February 27, 2018. Opiela was a donor to United Way of Wyoming Valley's 2017-2018 Community Campaign, Opiela's name was entered into a raffle to win a number of campaign incentive prizes. Opiela's name was pulled as the winner of a $500 Wegmans shopping spree, but Ann a had better, more generous idea. She decided to donate everything she would collect during her spree to the local women's shelter, Ruth's Place. When her employer, Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance heard about her generosity, it offered to match the value of her spree.

Read more at http://m.citizensvoice.com/news/shopping-spree-winner-gives-haul-to-women-s-shelter-1.2307505

Additional Articles:
* https://www.timesleader.com/news/local/694390/shopping-for-a-cause-spree-winner-donates-haul-to-ruths-place

Their view: Plenty Of Room Left On This Bandwagon

Many years ago, I got a chance to spend a little time and had a few conversations with Andy Reid, the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles at the time. Coach Reid’s humility and genuine kindness caught me by surprise, and I instantly became a fan. Ever since then, I found myself rooting for the two Pennsylvania teams – the Pittsburgh Steelers, my childhood favorite, and, because of Reid, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Read more at https://www.timesleader.com/opinion/op-ed/693255/their-viewplenty-of-room-left-on-this-bandwagon

Misericordia Employees Get Training On Alcohol and Opioid Abuse

The numbers sound truly “mind-blowing,” as Janine Olshefski put it more than once: 85 out of every 100 Luzerne County residents had an opioid prescription in 2016. The opioid overdose death rate in the county was 43.6 per 100,000 people, higher than the state rate of 36.5, and more than double the national rate of 16.3.

Read more at http://www.timesleader.com/news/691171/misericordia-employees-get-training-on-alcohol-and-opioid-abuse

Program Encourages Children to Read

The United Way of Wyoming Valley launched the Real Men Read program Tuesday at K.M. Smith Elementary School in Nanticoke. Real Men Read connects volunteer MENtors from the community with kindergarten classes in schools with high-risk student populations in an effort to encourage reading and learning in young children.

Read more at http://citizensvoice.com/news/program-encourages-children-to-read-1.2293720

View our photo gallery on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/uwwvalley/posts/2022105341138096

Wyoming Valley United Way and Berwick United Way Join Forces

A small non-profit that's made a big difference in one community is taking steps to stop a potential financial bleed. The Berwick United Way is in the process of merging with the much larger United Way of Wyoming Valley in Wilkes-Barre.

Read more at http://www.pahomepage.com/news/wyoming-valley-united-way-and-berwick-united-way-join-forces/925100321

Their View: A Remarkable Story of Generosity

A couple of days before Christmas, I got to witness and be part of something remarkable. Each year, there are thousands of individuals from throughout the Wyoming Valley who support the powerful work of the United Way. We are grateful to every single donor and, for decades, we have held an incentive drawing to recognize and thank all those who support our annual campaign.

Read more at http://www.timesleader.com/opinion/op-ed/688709/their-view-a-remarkable-story-of-generosity

Change In Tax Code In 2018 May Affect Nonprofits

While many analysts expect changes to the tax code in 2018 will lead to a drop in charitable donations, officials from some local nonprofits hope the effects won’t be as dire as predicted. “Will there be an effect? Perhaps. Will it be as big as people fear? I’m not sure,” Bill Jones, president and CEO of United Way of Wyoming Valley, said Tuesday.

Read more at http://citizensvoice.com/news/change-in-tax-code-in-2018-may-affect-nonprofits-1.2283678

United Way Donor Walks Away With New Car

Tatiana Simmons, of Wilkes-Barre, walked away from Mohegan Sun Pocono a big winner on Friday thanks to the United Way of Wyoming Valley.

Read more at http://www.timesleader.com/news/local/686444/united-way-donor-walks-away-with-new-car

Additional Articles:
* http://wnep.com/2017/12/22/woman-wins-new-car-lease-with-donations-to-united-way/

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