United Way News
Lycoming County United Way will hold its annual Trash 2 Treasure sale Saturday, May 14 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Penn College Field House. The Early bird special will begin at 7 a.m. for a $5 donation. An Electronics Recycling Drop-Off will be held throughout the day. Below are lists of acceptable and unacceptable electronics items.
Audio & Image Recorder
Computer Hard Drive
Keyboards & Mouse
Leads & Cable
Printers & Fax Machine
A big CONGRATULATIONS to our very own Sue Gilliland, Lycoming County United Way’s Finance Manager. Sue recently received The Good Samaritan Award at the American Red Cross Heroes Breakfast. Last April, Sue saw that a coworker was choking on food and performed abdominal thrusts to save her. GREAT JOB, SUE!
United Way Worldwide has declared February 11th as National 2-1-1 Day. A surprising number of people don’t know about calling 2-1-1. To help increase awareness, February 11 has been designated National 2-1-1 Day. For the last 44 years people of Northeastern PA have been singing the Help Line jingle to themselves to remember the local number for information and referral services. Now you just need to know three little numbers 2-1-1.
Everyday people need help and don’t know where to turn. Many times, when a simple solution is available the wait, unaware, until their small problem turns into a crisis. By dialing a free easy-to-remember phone number — 2-1-1 — callers reach trained caseworkers who can identify their needs and offer them information on thousands of programs and services that specialize in meeting critical basic needs such as food and housing; physical and mental health resources; employment supports; assistance for older adults and people with disabilities; and support for children, youth and families.
Help Line was established in 1972 after Hurricane Agnes; to provide a central resource for vital information for survivors of this devastating disaster. In 1975 Help Line entered into agreements with a number of area agencies to provide twenty-four hour crisis services. Soon after, other agencies signed onto the service and Help Line became the crisis center for many Wyoming Valley social service agencies. Help Line currently provides after hours crisis services for eighteen different agencies covering six counties in NEPA.
Since 1972 Help Line / PA 2-1-1 NEPA has handled over 2.8 million telephone calls, last year over 95,000 calls were handled by the Help Line / PA 2-1-1 caseworkers. The Help Line / PA 2-1-1 web site; www.helpline-nepa.info also received over 15,000 hits.
2-1-1 can be accessed by phone, text or computer twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. By remembering three simple digits, you can dial 2-1-1 and be connected to a Help Line caseworker. You can still dial the Help Line / PA 2-1-1, local number of 570-829-1341 or the toll free number of 1-800-829-1341.
This year to meet changing communication trends Help Line / PA 2-1-1 started a free texting program. By texting your zip code to 898211, you will be in contact with a Help Line / PA 2-1-1 caseworker who will work with you to meet your needs. Basic text and data rates may apply. The PA 2-1-1 database is also accessible from the Help Line / PA 2-1-1 web site, just click on any PA 2-1-1 logo on the web site and you can access available resources from throughout Pennsylvania.
Your donation of $104 or more to Lycoming County United Way will make you eligible to win a 7-Day cruise of your choice on the Norwegian Gem Line, Gem from New York, from AAA North Penn. Increase your donation for more chances to win! See below for official rules and details.
- 7-Day Cruise of your choice on the Norwegian Gem, based on the restrictions stated below
- Port Charges & Taxes
- All meals and entertainment aboard ship
- Transportation to the pier
- Parking fees
- Shore excursions
- Soda and alcoholic beverage
- Items of a personal nature
- Winner must be 21 years of age or older
- No cash value
- Package is based on availability at time of booking
- Non transferrable and non-changeable after reservations are booked
- May not be sold or traded
- Must travel between May through November 2016, excluding holidays.
- Must be booked no later than April 30, 2016.
How often are you watching TV and that commercial comes on that gets you every time? You know the one – it’s the abused puppies and kittens with the heart-wrenching images or maybe it’s the orphaned, malnourished children from a Third World Country. Regardless of what it is that tugs on your heartstrings, it is the desperation of those less fortunate that starts the tears rolling and causes you to want to make the world a better place.
We know the feeling here at Lycoming County United Way. We see, first-hand, the individuals who are struggling with drug addiction, mental health, homelessness, and disabilities – all challenges that create a domino effect around each corner for many living in Lycoming County. And while we may not be able to change the world, we work hard each day to make the daily lives of those struggling a little less difficult.
Campaigning for something you believe in involves many hands. Some may believe too many cooks to be a set-back, but United Way welcomes anyone who wishes to stir the pot into the kitchen.
As workplace campaigns begin to come to an end for this year’s annual United Way campaign, we are thankful for those businesses that afford us the opportunity to invite their employees to help us meet our mission to “mobilize resources to improve lives.” By allowing us to work with in-house campaign managers, local companies are adding fuel to the fire that burns for our less-fortunate friends and neighbors in Lycoming County.
For John Strimple, campaign manager at Springs Window Fashions, the reason to be involved is simple.
“I think, for us, it’s just that we believe in the message of United Way,” Strimple said. “We know that good things are happening because of the money that is raised each year and we want to support that.”
Springs has participated in the campaign for many years and, although things have changed for the business, the campaign has remained steady.
Strimple utilizes the online toolkit offered by Lycoming County United Way on its website. This allows him to run an electronic campaign and eliminate the need to distribute traditional paper materials. This works well for both office employees and the company’s home-based associates.
“Things changed in the way we could present information to employees,” he said. “We don’t have any in-house meetings anymore, so the online toolkit is very helpful. I use it to communicate with the team.”
In the interest of time, the campaign window is open for one week, but includes many opportunities to raise excitement for United Way. Perhaps the most popular incentive for anyone who provides a contribution is an entry into the chance to win a covered parking spot, just a few feet from the exit of the building. He also offers gift cards for local retailers to anyone who donates to the drive.
Julie Stellfox, in-house campaign manager for the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, assisted by Beth Miller, also said the fun prizes included with her campaign helps add excitement to raising dollars.
“Many of the fundraisers we do kind of have built-in incentives in a way,” Stellfox said. “Give a donation and you get to dress down for a day or you get a sandwich or some soup for lunch. But some people seem to be more inclined to pay for these types of things when they know the money is going to a good cause, like the United Way. The chance to win a prize is just an added bonus and everyone who wins always is very excited.”
Some of the fundraisers planned by Stellfox include candy bar and sandwich sales, dress down days and a soup day, which was new this year.
“It went over really well,” she said. “Ten employees made a different soup and we sold it to other employees at lunchtime for $1 a bowl. We made $101 at our first sale and we plan to do this again next year.”
According to Stellfox, anyone who participates in the individual fundraisers throughout the campaign is entered to win different prizes like gift baskets and gift cards to area stores and restaurants. In addition, anyone who participates in two fundraising activities and gives a personal donation using the pledge form is entered to win a grand prize at the end of the campaign.
Abbie Allison also added some excitement to the campaign at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation this year. During the company’s annual Roadway Incident Management Meeting, she hosted a “Dunk the Foreman” event.
“With more than 180 contractors and Anadarko employees in attendance, we saw this as an excellent opportunity to involve our staff members and also the contractors we partner with on a daily basis to help raise funds to support our local community. We had more than a dozen participants willing to be dunked. With the corporate match, we were able to raise over $1,700 in less than an hour.”
The employees, Allison added, get very excited over the campaign each year and the participation rates reflect that without the need for additional incentives. The company also offers a corporate match for employee dollars raised.
“’Servant Leadership and ‘People and Passion” are two of Anadarko’s core values,” she said. “Our employees are more than willing to help our communities. The majority of our employees are Pennsylvania natives and some have relocated to central PA. The United Way provides a great way for us to support people who need it most and give back in a meaningful way.”
Although the Face Story series comes to a close with this final piece on workplace involvement, Lycoming County United Way still is working hard to raise the dollars that will help programs in the community serve those in need. To make a donation, visit www.lcuw.org/give, call 570-323-9448 or text key word “LIVEUNITED” to 50155.
Each year, Lycoming County United Way hosts a Volunteer Appreciation event in honor of those who work hard to raise the necessary funds to provide for more than 30 human service agencies. It is important to take the time to recognize the 100s of individuals who care enough about the community to be a cheerleader for the campaign. Without the Loaned Executives; board and campaign cabinet members; special event volunteers; and in-house campaign managers, leading the campaign would not be possible. Although it is always a challenge for those who work one-on-one with employees at local businesses to garner enthusiasm through advocacy and education, there are a few in-house campaign managers who, this year, have made exceptional strides at their place of employment. While we appreciate the time devoted by all of the volunteers, we highlight one today, who has brought back the spirit of United Way in a new and exciting way and would like to share some of her thoughts on running a successful campaign.
Alyssa Rogers – Recruiting coordinator, Human Resources: Larson Design Group – recently completed her first year as an in-house campaign manager.
UW: How did you become involved with the United Way campaign?
AR: When I came on board to LDG in 2014, our CEO, Keith Kuzio, approached me about leading the United Way campaign. Being a recent graduate from Lycoming College, I was eager to get involved in sub-committees at LDG and increase my community involvement. It was believed that my enthusiastic personality would pair well with being the face of our campaign. While growing up I was taught the importance of stewardship from my parents, Ed and Amy Rogers, both of whom have been loyal contributors to LCUW. When presented the opportunity, I quickly accepted the challenge and honor to lead LDG’s campaign.
UW: What did the company do in the past to raise money for the campaign?
AR: Larson Design Group has always had a strong tradition of giving to the United Way. For several years, our employees have had the option to donate via payroll, as well as give through various in-house fundraisers such as a Chinese auction, Kiss the Pig Challenge, Bake Sales, etc.
UW: What types of things have you done this year to add excitement to the campaign?
AR: With having one year under my belt as LDG’s United Way campaign chair, I approached this year’s fundraising differently. My goal was to engage and educate our employees on the impact of their dollar, while adding excitement across the board. The first step to running a successful, engaging campaign is to call upon employee volunteers. Having 12 offices across five different states, we needed more United Way support presence throughout our offices, driving home the important message of ‘Live United.’ With a great group of volunteers, we were able to plan some exciting in-house fundraisers like our Dunk-O-Rama and Raffle Basket Fundraiser, which brought in over $3,500 in funds for the United Way. 50/50s were also a big hit during our campaign with a bonus challenge we added on. The office/department with the highest employee 50/50 participation won a pizza party. LDG employees love an inner department/office challenge, which, in turn, benefited the United Way. It wasn’t uncommon for the winner to donate their 50/50 winnings back to the United Way, as well!
UW: Can you name a few things that worked and some that didn’t work out so well?
AR: This year, we shortened our campaign length to a little over a month. In years past, our campaign would span across several months, spilling into the holiday season. After attending the United Way volunteer training, I decided to shorten the campaign after hearing success stories from other local companies. We ran our campaign for 33 days and successfully beat our goal! Within those 33 days, we campaigned hard, had enthusiastic energy, educated our employees and executed some spectacular in-house fundraisers. In four hours, we raised $1,400 dollars during a Dunk-O-Rama fundraiser. Eight employees took the plunge for the United Way. As our CEO said, “a splash in the tank is a small price to pay to help support the good programs that the United Way funds in our community.” Another success was the raffle basket fundraiser, bringing in over $2,100. Employees and outside community members took their chances on some amazing baskets donated by our LDG office/department employees. We tapped into our social media outlets, as well as resources at the LCUW office to help spread the word about our fundraiser, which helped generate more participation and money. I was simply in awe over our employees’ generosity in putting together great raffle baskets. It was fun for employees to utilize their break time to take their chance on winning some awesome prizes while benefiting the United Way. In year’s past, we did some simple bake sales and other smaller fundraisers that didn’t pan out as planned. From experience, we’ve learned that organized fundraisers on the larger scale are worth the time and investment to bring in more funds. Multiple small fundraisers can be time consuming and not be as financially rewarding as one or two well-executed larger ones.
UW: Why do you think this year’s campaign was or will be so successful?
AR: This year’s campaign was a success because of the employees at LDG. With the help from my great United Way committee volunteers, we were able to educate our employees on what a hard-earned dollar can do in their community. We made the campaign engaging and had all hands on deck. Whether it was tapping into our IT departments’ resources to allow the Dunk-O-Rama to be streamed live over a YouTube channel for our employees in other states to see, or connecting with multiple United Way agencies for promotional material to distribute, we have experienced the true meaning of ‘Live United.’ LDG employees continue to practice one of our core values of Stewardship through their commitment to their community.
UW: What is one thing that you did this year to increase contributions or dollars raised?
AR: We focused on educating our employees and providing goal status updates. With more than 60 new hires in 2015, we wanted to bring up to speed every new hire on LDG’s long history of giving. By providing status goal updates, it helped drive momentum throughout the campaign. Being an engineering, architecture and survey firm, it’s well noted that our employees love numbers. Breaking down the monetary goal figure by the number of employees and pay periods helped realistically paint a picture of what donation is needed to reach our goal and impact community programs.
UW: Why do you think it is important for local businesses to participate in the United Way campaign?
AR: I think it’s important for local businesses to participate in the campaign so workplaces can collaborate to tackle our community’s most difficult issues. No one person or organization can do it alone, but with leaders and businesses on board, we have the ability to make a stronger, more positive impact.
UW: What was your goal and how much was raised this year?
AR: LDG’s 2015/2016 goal was to raise $42,500 in employee contributions. We successfully raised $43,729 from employee contributions, with a total of $54,229, which includes our $10,500 company contribution.
For more information about LCUW, visit lcuw.org or call 570-323-9448.