United Way News
The Lycoming County United Way (LCUW) and Lycoming-Clinton Counties Commission for Community Action (STEP) Inc. are partnering to complete a comprehensive Community Needs Assessment with support through the Lycoming College’s Center for the Study of Community & the Economy. Each organization is mandated to perform a Community Needs Assessment on a three-year cycle and rather than duplicating efforts, they are collaborating. For the Lycoming County United Way, the responsibility of allocating resources to organizations and agencies is based on needs identified as critical in Lycoming County. Similarly, as the Community Action Agency for the county, STEP, is required to perform a community needs assessment to ensure services offered are aligned with them. This collaborative approach will allow for the Community Needs Assessment to be more comprehensive than ever before. The partners intend for the Community Needs Assessment to be used as a community-wide tool for planning, development, and sustainability of programs.
Four main outreach methods are being used to gather information from the community on the needs of Lycoming County. Partner Surveys have been distributed to local non-profit agencies and their staff. These organizations serve as the eyes and ears most closely involved in understanding the needs of our residents. Their knowledge and perceptions of the human service needs faced by residents of our county are vital to this process. Customer Surveys will be available through various organizations to better understand the needs of our residents receiving services. Telephone Surveys will occur through the partnership with Lycoming College’s Center for the Study of Community & the Economy. Registered voters will be called and asked a series of questions similar to the partner and customer surveys. The timeframe for the telephone surveys is the week of September 20th.
Focus Groups will be held to validate and provide more in-depth understanding of initial data from the three survey tools. The timeframe for the focus groups is late fall, early winter.
Upon analysis of the data, a final report of the Community Needs Assessment will be published and distributed throughout Lycoming County in early 2015. If you have any questions or concerns or would like to receive a copy of the results of this survey, please contact Carolyn Hawk at (570) 323-9448 at the United Way or Rachelle Abbott at (570) 601-9501 at STEP or check the agencies respective websites, www.lcuw.org or www.stepcorp.org
For the 21st consecutive year, Lycoming County United Way and the Williamsport Crosscutters have partnered for the Home Run Team program. Since 1994, Home Run Team sponsors have annually pledged for every home run hit by the Crosscutters.
Including a total of 43 round-trippers hit this season, Lycoming County United Way has announced that the Home Run Team sponsor support has passed the $142,000 mark. Seven sponsors were presented with appreciation plaques at the August 31 Crosscutters-Spikes game, including Fairfield Auto Group, Jersey Shore State Bank, McDonald’s, The Muncy Bank & Trust Co., Staiman Recycling Corp., Woodlands Bank and Williamsport Crosscutters. Sponsors who could not attend included Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships, Ron Insinger, Lycoming Mall, and Phillips Supply House.
In acknowledgement of his success as the Crosscutters Home Run leader, with 14 home runs hit this season, setting a new single season Crosscutters record, Jiandido Tromp was presented with a plaque in recognition of his individual achievement as the Lycoming County United Way 2014 Home Run Team Player of the Year.
Lycoming County United Way kicked off its annual campaign September 5. The non-profit provides funding to 32 local human service programs. For more information about making a donation to LCUW, visit www.lcuw.org or call 570-323-9448.
To see our photo gallery from the August 31 game, visit our Facebook page!
Last year, Lycoming County United Way (LCUW) announced the establishment of a new community grant program through which grants are awarded on an annual basis. The purpose of a Community Building grant is to fund one or more 501(c)(3) human service program(s) which has or will have a significant impact on a need in our community. This new grant process provides an avenue for qualified human service programs to become potential LCUW Program Partners.
Interested agencies should submit a Letter of Intent, not more than two pages in length, describing a program that addresses one or more of the critical needs facing Lycoming County as established in the 2012 Community Needs Assessment Survey or as identified by your agency as a current need even if not illustrated in the needs assessment. The Letter should also include an approximate funding request. Funding priority will be placed on those programs addressing higher priority needs. The program must be outcome-based and show clear performance measures. The program can be proposed or existing, but cannot be an existing LCUW funded program.
The Community Needs Assessment Survey is conducted every three years by LCUW to identify emerging human service needs within the county. Polling is done independently by the Center for the Study of Community and Economy at Lycoming College. The survey is available at www.lcuw.org, and is accessible by clicking on the Who We Help tab and scrolling to the bottom of the page.
Letters of Intent will be reviewed by a committee of community volunteers, and those programs addressing community needs and showing measurable outcomes will be invited to submit a full application.
Organizations should submit their letters of intent for the 2015 Community Building Grant no later than October 17, 2014. Letters must be submitted via email to Carolyn Hawk, LCUW Director of Funding and Community Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Late submissions will not be reviewed.
For more information, e-mail or call Carolyn Hawk at 570-323-9448.
Michelle Huey speaks about overcoming her drug addiction and homelessness with the help of the Journey House program, funded by Lycoming County United Way, while her son, Gabriel, looks on.
Lycoming County United Way kicked-off their 2014/2015 fundraising campaign via the energy of its first-ever 5K run through the streets of Williamsport and the passion of a recipient of service, for whom the United Way was a literal lifesaver, during activities held in conjunction with the September 5 First Friday event in downtown Williamsport.
“Both events are symbolic of our daily United Way mission,” said Tim Bair, who along with wife, Jill, are the co-chairs for this year’s United Way campaign. “Those who are willing and able volunteer their services to help us raise the needed funds that improve the lives of Lycoming County residents facing difficult times. Our campaign volunteers help us run a four-month campaign race that last year enabled 25,433 local folks to get the help they needed. “
“While the 5k run/walk is a first for us it is a ‘jump in and get involved’ activity that provides both a fun and healthy emphasis on the importance of our mission,” Jill Bair added. “Serious runners and casual walkers alike gain a better understanding of the important work our United Way does, while at the same time having a good time.”
For ‘Michelle’ United Way is much more than a good time. The United Way’s financial support of Journey House changed the direction her life was headed.
“Addiction to heroine ruins lives. I know it was ruining mine,” explained Michelle. “When I decided to go into rehab it was both the best and worst day of my life. But thanks to United Way and the Journey House program, I was able to do what was needed to kick the habit and get my life going in the right direction. I am now drug free, have my children back and have found employment. United Way and Journey House saved my life. I don’t know what would have happened to me without their help and support.”
“Michelle’s story is the ultimate result of why we do what we do every year,” emphasized Bill Martin, LCUW board president. “The funds we receive each year are put to work via the 33 human service programs working under our umbrella that positively change people’s lives. Our campaign is truly ‘people helping people’ and we are asking for everyone’s help to help us achieve this year’s campaign goal of $1,750,000. It is a big number that is requiring a big effort, but without United Way, Lycoming County would be the big loser”.
The United Way campaign will run through the end of the year. Contributions can be made by calling the United Way office 570-323-9448, via the website, www.lcuw.org, or at workplace campaigns throughout the county.
Lycoming County United Way will hold its first-ever 5K Run/Walk. The 5K will be held as a part of First Friday events, September 5, and will begin at 5 p.m. at Fourth and Hepburn streets. The run will be followed by a Campaign Kick-Off celebration on the Susquehanna Bank Stage, located between the Community Arts Center and Williamsport Sun-Gazette.
The cost to sign up for the run is $15 through August 29 and $20 from August 29 through noon September 3. All proceeds will benefit the Lycoming County United Way campaign.
The Brickyard Restaurant and Ale House, Barrel 135 and Stonehouse Wood Fired Pizza and Pasteria will offer all participants one free beer if they show their running bibs.
The first meeting of the newly established Lycoming County United Way Executive Club was held August 6 at Kellogg Co., Muncy. The group was able to take an exclusive tour of the plant, while networking with fellow community business leaders. Businesses who attended included Wirerope Works Inc.; Backyard Broadcasting; Anthony H. Visco, Jr. Architects; L-3 Communications; Range Resources; Parente Beard; Northwest Savings Bank; Merrill Lynch; Susquehanna Health; Northwest Savings Bank; United Postal Service; PPL Corporation; and Kelly Services. The Executive Club will meet regularly throughout the year with the intent to work together to make positive changes for the community. If you are interested in joining, contact Adrienne Wertz, Director of Resource Development and Communications, at 323-9448 or at email@example.com.
The annual United Way Basket Bingo will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, November 2 at the Pennsdale Civic Center, 261 Village Road, Pennsdale. The doors will open at 11:30 a.m., with Early Bird games beginning at 12:45 p.m. The cost is $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
As in past years, Save the Date cards will be mailed out to those who have attended in the past.
Anyone interested in attending should call 323-9448.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY FCFPP
Many thanks to First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania! Scott Lowery, Lycoming County United Way Executive Director, right, receives a grant through the Tree House Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, from Marshall Welch, FCFPP Board Chair, at a recent reception held in the Capitol Lounge at the Community Arts Center. The Tree House Grant will support the Imagination Library project of the United Way Women’s Leadership Council of the Susquehanna Valley River Region. Imagination Library provides books for children infant through 5 years old on a monthly basis to encourage early literacy. To support the project, call 570-323-9448 or e-mail Carolyn Hawk.