Friday, August 23, 2013

United Way kicks off 2013 Get Connected Campaign!

August 23, 2013 - Mentor, OH - United Way of Lake County's staff and 41 volunteer cabinet members from the community are asking YOU to personally GET CONNECTED to the nonprofit organization's 2013 campaign.

The campaign officially kicked off at 7:30 a.m. Thursday (August 22) at Lake Health Mentor Medical Center. The kick-off featured an outdoor pancake breakfast, agency carnival, cabinet introductions and announcement of the 2013 goal.

This year's campaign is being led by Campaign Chair Paul Vanek, M.D. and Co-Chair Lori Stevic-Rust, Ph.D. In 2012, United Way of Lake County raised $3.67 million and increased its fundraising efforts for the 12th time in the past 13 years.

For the next couple of months, United Way of Lake County will be asking local companies, organizations and individuals to GET CONNECTED and work toward bettering our community as a whole.
United Way of Lake County serves the most people in the most ways. It's not a singular focused organization but rather:
  • Serves the whole community
  • Focuses on what's important
  • Provides programs and funding to solve Lake County's most critical issues
  • Impacts the community's quality of life for all of Lake County.
In 2012, 2-1-1 received 163,068 calls for United Way services. That number is an increase from 160,475 in 2011. A recent community needs assessment report revealed some of the following statistics:
  • 37.3% of people say the biggest barrier to filling prescriptions was lack of insurance.
  • 14.4% of children were living in poverty.
  • There were 101 homeless unaccompanied children under 18.
  • 28% of seniors live alone.
  • 25% of the senior population is in danger of poverty.
  • Nearly half of the 3,408 calls needing emergency shelter were turned away because there were no beds.
  • 33.9% of children received free or reduced lunch
United Way of Lake County gets connected and responds by working with more than 70 programs that help children and families, basic needs, health and wellness, health counseling and senior citizens.

"After my father was severely brain injured, my mother raised five children through industry, frugality, with the help of God and with the generosity of people I never met or knew," Vanek said. "She instilled in me a drive to succeed and a lifelong commitment to serve others. The mission of the United Way is the best way I can support leadership in giving for those in need in Lake County. It's time all of us who have talents and resources 'get connected' to support the organizations who are funded by United Way efforts."

"The campaign this year is about getting connected - connecting people to resources, organizations to people and people to people," Stevic-Rust said. "When we are connected to each other, we often find clarity in our own purpose. So, our challenge this year is for each of us to ask ourselves one questions, 'How do I get connected and stay connected?'" Those with questions, or who want to hold a United Way campaign, contribute or volunteer, can call United Way's campaign director Jean Argo at 440-639-1286.

The campaign will run through the end of December. Results will be announced at the United Way's annual meeting in April.

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