10.17.21 Sunday Paper
Editorial Board / Opinion (Pg A4)
Donating to United Way of Lake County Helps to Meet Urgent Local Needs | Editorial
If you have a residential address or telephone number, it’s likely you get a fair share of requests from nonprofit organizations seeking financial donations. Should you receive an upcoming appeal for funds from the United Way of Lake County, we’d suggest carefully listening to or reading the request.
That’s because the inquiry is coming from an organization that focuses on responding to Lake County’s most urgent needs. We were reminded of this fact in a recent News-Herald story about United Way of Lake County kicking off its 2021-2022 campaign. UWLC launched the fundraising drive while celebrating the start of its 100-year anniversary with a free “Unite at the Drive-in” community event at the Mayfield Road Drive-In Theatre in Munson Township.
The event attracted more than 750 people.
Before the feature presentation, “The Wizard of Oz,” a fireworks display took place, and a fire truck, courtesy of the Munson Township Fire Department, was on-site for youths to explore.
A UWLC video presentation featuring Campaign Chair Ben Capelle, CEO of Laketran, and UWLC President and CEO Jennifer McCarty started the evening. The video showcased a bit of the organization’s history over the past 100 years, the 2020 impact that UWLC made, and more.
“I am excited to take this ride with United Way,” Capelle said, sitting inside a bus with McCarty. “One of the really interesting things about United Way is that they don’t carry money over, every year they start with a zero balance. They don’t receive money from other sources. Everything (United Way does) is from your generous gifts.”
McCarty noted that upon UWLC’s inception in 1922, the organization held its first fundraising drive and raised just enough to buy a car for the community’s only visiting nurse. She then fast-forwarded to 1958, a year when the organization raised $137,000 in support of eight nonprofits.
Over the last 10 years, over 1 million services have been provided to Lake County’s most vulnerable residents in partnership with nearly 50 nonprofits.
In 2020, 92,024 services were provided in conjunction with the health and human service agencies UWLC helps support.
According to officials:
• 270,000 meals were provided to Lake County’s hungry.
• 41,024 congregate, drive-up and delivery meals were provided to seniors.
• 502 cans of formula were provided to babies in need.
• 7,394 emergency services were provided.
• 8,200 children benefited from mentors and youth enrichment programs.
• 276 domestic violence survivors benefited from refuge and care.
• 532 people received substance abuse treatment.
• 550 homeless persons received shelter and care.
• 7,183 medical visits were funded.
• 831 people benefited from prescription assistance.
• 2,573 people received mental health counseling services.
• 181 hospice patients and their families received comfort and care.
• 20,963 children benefited from reading and education programs.
The video also highlighted the impact made from contributions to UWLC’s COVID-19 Lake County Relief Fund.
Donations helped provide for the delivery of nearly 2,500 bags of groceries to homebound seniors; helped re-stock the shelves of 40 Lake County food pantries to meet increased need; helped provide additional funds to Project Hope for the Homeless to meet need for extended hours; and funded additional free prescriptions for those who lost jobs and health insurance.
Also, donations provided funds to the Salvation Army of Painesville to meet increased demand for meals and to help provide free school supplies to 1,500 children in need; helped fund the Lake County YMCA licensed pandemic childcare centers for essential workers; and provided additional funds to the Lake County Free Clinic to meet increased demand from those who lost jobs and health insurance.
In conclusion, we would encourage Lake County residents to strongly consider making donations to United Way of Lake County.
Those who would like to contribute to impact the lives of Lake County children and families may do so online at uwlc.org/give, by texting uwlc100 to 44321, or by mailing a check payable to United Way of Lake County to 9285 Progress Parkway, Mentor, OH 44060.
We hope people who are in a position to contribute money to United Way of Lake County will follow through, and help ensure that the organization’s 2021-2022 campaign is a tremendous success.