The agency has received about 24 percent of this year's $3.3 million campaign goal.
By WILLIAM K. ALCORN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Helping people in need is what the Youngstown/Mahoning United Way is all about.
Whether the need is health care, social services or education, there are United Way agencies ready to help, said Tom Cavalier, chairman of the 2002 campaign.
Speaking at Tuesday evening's campaign kickoff at the B & amp;O Station restaurant, the Butler Wick chairman, president and CEO said the 2002 campaign goal is $3.3 million.
"We must raise that amount to continue the valuable services that are provided through 90 programs operated by our 31 UW agencies," he said.
The local United Way's Pacesetter and Leadership campaigns and other advance gifts total $796,071, about 24 percent of the campaign goal.
Day of Caring
Tuesday was also United Way's fifth annual Day of Caring, in which more than 300 volunteers from 37 local agencies, businesses and corporations perform much-needed projects, such as cleaning, painting, carpentry work and organizing activities at 27 UW agencies.
"We're going to have to work very hard, probably harder than ever before, and we have to reach people who haven't given before. If we do those two things, we'll meet our goal," said Don Cagigas, United Way president.
"Unless you see the need and the hurt and the pain that's out there, you have no idea," Cagigas said.
Part of the reason for the Day of Caring, chaired by Pat Livingston, news director of WYTV, is to give UW volunteers an opportunity to see first-hand the agencies for which they are working to raise money, said Bruce Beeghly, chairman of the Community Corporation. It also illustrates the importance and impact of volunteering on the community, he added.
United Way is a volunteer-driven organization, from raising funds to public relations to planning, reviewing community needs and, finally, helping determine where the money raised will go to make a difference in the quality of life in the community, Cavalier said.
Jon Heacock, head football coach at Youngstown State University, and three of his senior players, Andy DeNiro, P.J. Mays and Kosta Karapetsas, spoke briefly at the campaign kickoff banquet.
Heacock said he grew up in a family with a tradition of giving and volunteering, and was humbled and grateful to be involved in the United Way campaign.
United Way is all about serving people, he said.
"We have a big job ahead," Cavalier told the volunteers.
"We need to get in the trenches and make it happen. This community has always seemed to rally when there is a need, and I think it will again. We're fortunate to have jobs and our health. It's our duty to help people," Cavalier said.