Lycoming County United Way recently completed its 2015-16 funding cycle by allocating $1.2 million to multiple human service providers.
“The initiative that was first launched in 1922 to engage the local community in raising sustaining funds that would be used right here at home to help human service organizations provide vital help to residents facing difficult times in their lives is every bit as important today as it was then,” said Dr. William Martin, agency president. “While costs, complications and circumstances have changed over the years, the consistent support of the Lycoming County community in providing this much-needed funding is truly a tribute to the compassion of so many who continually rise to the occasion of helping their friends and neighbors.”
The 2014-15 campaign raised $1,432,233, the fourth largest amount in the local agency’s history. It marked the 35th consecutive year of topping the $1 million plateau.
“To raise more than a million dollars annually takes the support of the community,” said Scott N. Lowery, agency executive director, who credited volunteers for raising the money and also allocating the funds.
“More than 400 volunteers are actively engaged in our yearly campaign,” Lowery said.
“During the past year, United Way funding provided human service agencies the means to help 25,433 county residents receive human service support,” he said. “That translates into about 21 percent of Lycoming County’s population.”
Still, competition for charitable dollars is stiff.
“This year the requests we were presented for funding were $40,393 more than we had to give,” said Tom O’Connell, chairman of the funds distribution committee. “Throughout the process, we were engaged in collaborative efforts with our program partners regarding the available funding and we are appreciative of their support pertaining to the funding decisions that had to be made.”
Funds were distributed to programs that meet needs identified in five community need impact areas: Caring for people in crisis, $415,000; nurturing children, $61,000; serving those with special needs, $203,729; strengthening families, $139,000; and supporting seniors, $12,500.
Additionally, the organization provided $36,202 in funding to a variety of countywide outreach programs that address the needs of specialized services.
It also provided $12,683 for 2-1-1, which provides information on how to obtain human services, and $14,000 to the Clearinghouse, a partnership with the American Rescue Workers that tracks and records services provided throughout the county. It enables providers to best meet requests they receive, while at the same time eliminating potential abuses of the system.
Another $40,000 was provided to three county programs through the agency’s Impact Funding process.
“The Impact Funding process is the entryway for human service programs to become United Way program partners,” said Carolyn Hawk, director of funding and community relations. “Programs are not just pulled out of a hat and given the title. They must meet specific requirements to be called program partners.”
Three new programs were added through the impact process: Sojourner Truth Ministries, $10,000 for a social service program; The Susquehanna Community Health and Dental Center, $15,000 for dental education; and Shepherd of the Streets, $15,000 for an oral surgery program.
In collaboration with a variety of additional funding sources United Way-administrated funding includes $213,722 to sub-recipients of federal grants and $97,746 in donor-designated contributions that are distributed to programs not affiliated with United Way.