It took considerably longer than executives of the Youngstown-Mahoning Valley United Way had anticipated, but the United Way campaign has finally reached its goal. With the outpouring of charitable dollars after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, benevolent organizations through out the nation saw their own incomes dip. That and a weak economy also made it more difficult to raise needed funds. But United Way volunteers persisted, and the entire community will be better off for their efforts.
The Youngstown-Mahoning County United Way allocates funds to 31 area agencies and six community chests. This year, the umbrella fund-raising organization hoped to raise $3.25 million to support the human care agencies that provide 90 necessary programs and services that address many of the community's most critical issues. That goal was exceeded by $2,900.
Unlike other national charities, United Way raises funds from the community to be used in Mahoning County, Girard, Liberty, Hubbard and McDonald. Executives "loaned" by area businesses direct the campaign.
This year Garry Mrozek, senior vice president of corporate banking for National City Bank, chaired the effort, aided by 200 volunteers who didn't need to hear the President Bush's State-of-the-Union call for volunteerism. They and their companies have long been committed to community service.
American generosity: Volunteer service and voluntary contributions to local, national and international charities is a hallmark of the American people. No other nation on earth can boast such generosity.
After Sept. 11, Americans gave billions of dollars to help the families of attack victims. And while such largess cut into traditional giving, people are still digging into their pockets to help those less fortunate than themselves as the local example has shown.
Of the many corporate and individual donors to the Mahoning Valley United Way campaign, Parker Hannifin Corporation was the top corporate giver in the campaign. The employees of the General Motors Lordstown complex which includes members of UAW Local 1112 and UAW Local 1714 who work at both the assembly and stamping plants were the top employee-giving group. The Youngstown Foundation gave the largest foundation gift.
They deserve our thanks and our congratulations.