FULTON, NY – When it comes to the future of United Way it’s all about helping others. That’s the vision of new executive director of United Way of Greater Oswego County Patrick Dewine.
A native Oswegonian, Dewine is well versed in the United Way’s mission and shares the agency’s vision of building stronger communities by ending hunger, helping children and youth succeed, and improving Oswego County’s overall health and well being.
“It all starts with education and collaboration,” said Dewine. “United Way has a tremendous impact on Oswego County. Programs funded through United Way and administered by our member agencies touch the lives of our neighbors and our loved ones. It’s important that we educate the community about the vital role that United Way plays in improving the quality of life in Oswego County.”
Dewine brings with him 15 years of business management experience.
For many of those years, he served as campaign coordinator for Friendly’s Restaurant’s in-house campaign in support of United Way.
In that role he learned much about what United Way does and developed a greater understanding and appreciation of the agency’s importance to the county.
“When I spoke to my fellow employees about United Way it was surprising to hear them share stories of how loved ones and family members had benefited from United Way funded programs. It was an enlightening experience that made the United Way’s mission come to life. We may have an idea of what United Way does, and we may have heard about some of programs it funds, but when you hear real stories of how these programs can transform lives, and can put a face to those who are receiving services, it really drives the message home that United Way is an essential part of our community,” said Dewine.
It’s this concept of education that Dewine will expound upon as he begins his tenure as executive director.
He said that he will soon be visiting area business and reaching out to community members to increase the visibility of United Way and the many ways in which the agency, and the human services programs it helps to fund, positively impact Oswego County.
In addition, Dewine said the United Way would expand its involvement with social media to better connect with young adults.
It’s a project that will be spearheaded by resource development director Ali McGrath.
“Ali has a thorough understanding of social media and the many and varied platforms that are available. It may sound cliché, but today’s young adults really are tomorrow’s leaders. We need to be creative and forward thinking when it comes to educating them about how they can make a difference in their community and that supporting United Way is one of the best ways to do so. More importantly they are an excellent resource that can offer new and innovative ideas that may benefit United Way as well as those we serve, ” said Dewine.
Partnerships and collaborations have always been an integral part of United Way.
Whether it’s working with campaign coordinators at their work place, coordinating volunteer efforts, or partnering with sponsors for the agency’s golf tournament or stuff-a-bus campaign, collaboration is the key to success.
“We are fortunate to have established such rewarding partnerships,” said Dewine. “My intent is to nurture these partnerships and explore opportunities to establish additional partnerships throughout Oswego County.”
“It’s an honor to be chosen for this position,” added Dewine. “It provides me with an opportunity to share my compassion and concerns for others. I won’t be doing it alone however; myself, the United Way board of directors, our dedicated staff, and our member agencies are working toward the same goal…to make Oswego County a better place to live, work and raise a family.”