OSWEGO, NY – Positive community impact. It was a theme that echoed throughout the morning as United Way of Greater Oswego kicked off its 2015 – 2016 campaign.
Following a brief welcome and overview of United Way from Executive Director Patrick Dewine, United Way Board President Bill Crist spoke of the impact and measurable results that United Way funded programs have on those in need.
Those words came to life when he introduced the United Way’s campaign video.
The video highlighted the impact and results United Way helps support through the community.
Some programs that match United Way’s mission of building strong communities by ending hunger, helping children and youth succeed, and improving the health and well-being of families and individuals were demonstrated in the video.
From the myriad programs offered through Oswego County Opportunities to Catholic Charities, the YMCA, Farnham Family Services and the astounding services of the Child Advocacy Center, the video provided viewers with a clearer understanding of how United Way donor dollars are used wisely and member agency representatives emphatically stated that without United Way funding many of the services they provide would not be possible.
To demonstrate that impact United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath introduced Karrie Damm, executive director of the CAC, Kristin Drumm and Danielle Fox of ARISE, and Deb Deeb, coordinator of Human Concerns in Oswego.
The four shared some rather sobering statistics.
Damm spoke of the fact that Oswego County has the largest number of reported child abuse incidents in New York State while Deeb said that Human Concerns served 72,000 meals and provided food for 8,035 individuals in 2015.
The agency representatives then told the story of a day in the life of a fictional family and how United Way funded services impacted them in a positive way.
The fictional family’s day began with a trip to the CAC where their daughter disclosed that she had been touched inappropriately by her father.
The incident caused a ripple effect that affected everyone in the family.
While CAC staff provided services that comforted the daughter and advocated for the mom, counselors recognized additional issues that would need to be addressed and referred family members to other agencies, including ARISE and Human Concerns, whose United Way funded programs offer the types of services the family would benefit from.
The collaborative efforts of United Way member agencies and the availability of United Way funded services affected the family in a positive way.
“This is just one example of the countless families and individuals that benefit from programs that are supported by United Way,” said McGrath. “Similar scenarios play out every day. The impact that our 27 member agency programs have is tremendous.”
The morning ended with Dewine challenging community members to get involved with the United Way annual campaign.
“Together we can have an overwhelming positive impact on the quality of life in Oswego County. I invite to join us on our mission of ending hunger, helping children and youth succeed and improving the health and well-being of families and individuals,” he said.
For more information on the United Way of Greater Oswego County and the human services programs it funds, call 315-593-1900 or visit www.oswegounitedway.org