Why We Do It

Your Community. Your United Way.

With more than 2.6 million volunteers, 9.6 million donors worldwide, and more than $5 billion raised every year, United Way is the world's largest non-profit. It’s exciting to be part of that movement and to see the changes and hear about our collective successes.
But, what it really comes down to here in the Lehigh Valley is you. United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley brings neighbors together. We unite people who care. We raise and invest funds that stay right here in the greater Lehigh Valley–focused on the people who live, work and play here.
The results show in our measurements and our statistics, but they really shine when you hear personal stories of how our collective work impacts lives. We invite you to explore some highlights below and submit one of your own stories. Together we are making a difference. Thank you for, well, being you.

That's why we do it.
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Leader in Me When Chris joined McKinley in 2017, he had undergone some personal struggles, had a history of low self-esteem and lacked confidence, both socially and academically. By the end of the year, Chris had become “a model student,” taking on many leadership roles, achieving excellent attendance, joining four after-school programs and volunteering at every parent and family involvement event. The Leader in Me process helped Chris become the young man he was always meant to be. Allentown
McKinley Elementary School
Agency: Allentown School District
United Way Funded Program: Leader in Me
Making Maintenance Easier To help make maintenance easier for the Horner's Cemetery Historical Society, Eagle Scout Austin Hoffman created a storage shed on the cemetery’s property. With the help of family and fellow scouts, Austin designed and built the shed to store the cemetery’s upkeep equipment that usually would needed to be transported from another location.

“The $1000 grant was used to pay for the materials to construct the shed. I was able to use this grant to build a shed that exceeded my beneficiary's thoughts. I am very grateful for the TeenWorks organization, and for everything it allowed me to accomplish.”
  – Austin Hoffman, TeenWorks grant recipient
'Using Our Kindness' I am so proud to be a member of the Orefield Middle School Builders club because I know I am able to make such an impact with this club; from making treats for the kids at a hospital to going to Philly to feed the families. We are a huge happy family who have big hearts and we use that kindness to help others in our community. I love being able to work with so many people that share the same passion as me! – OMS Builders Club member, TeenWorks grant recipient
Improving Easton Education After reading an article in November 2015 that 32% of 2nd grade students in the Easton Area School District read below grade level, National Honor Society member Jack Quinn wanted to help. With the help of TeenWorks funding, Jack purchased six Little Scholar tablets for the Spring Garden Children’s Center in Easton, PA for their lower income, at risk pre-K students.

“[The tablets are] pre-loaded with over 200 educational reading, math and geography applications...  [Jack’s team] taught the children and teachers how to utilize these tablets combining both technology with fun and engaging educational games to keep the children interested.”  
Students Supporting Their Schools Wescosville Elementary fifth grader Maeve Yanes decided to help her school by building birdhouses for their outdoor classroom program. With the help of TeenWorks and four other students, she created the Wescosville Elementary Construction Owls club, they created 13 birdhouses, nest shelves, and feeders. Maeve is also now a TeenWorks board member.

“We could not have completed [this project] without the generosity of people in the Lehigh Valley that donate money to United Way TeenWorks for this to happen!  Thank you TeenWorks for funding our project!”
  – Maeve Yanes
TeenWorks Board Member and grant recipient
Our Board Builds Confidence Parkland High School freshman Samantha Moyer came to know TeenWorks when she was in middle school, where her and other students received funding for a yearly service project. Now a board member, Samantha says she’s learned and grown a lot in her past year as a member.

“I love TeenWorks, I get to see the start and end of projects we helped make happen. Thanks to TeenWorks I have been told by many that I am more confident and outgoing, and I do believe that is true. Thank you TeenWorks for letting me be a part of the board.” – Samantha Moyer
TeenWorks Board Member
Helping Care for Working Families To help combat the issue of working families being without the financial capability to pay for suitable childcare, the Glimmers of Light Daycare Center in Allentown provides affordable and quality childcare in the form of a daily educational curriculum and meals for kids. To help improve the classroom area of the center, Yahel Cisneros and family got funding from TeenWorks to help its teachers and faculty continue their good work.

“Glimmers is an excellent option to educate and provide a safe environment for [working families]. Teenworks helped Glimmers to replace the classrooms and hall’s carpets, to paint walls, and replace ceiling tiles. Through Teenwork assistance, Glimmers was able to open its door in September 2015.”
  – Rony Cisneros
Father of TeenWorks grant recipient
A Unique Learning Experience I gained valuable experience and knowledge from both ends—as a recipient and as a member—of this unique organization. Although I am involved in many clubs, organizations, and jobs, too, I can honestly say that TeenWorks is my most rewarding extracurricular activity. During every board meeting, every outreach event, every training program—whether I am leading them or not—I am learning. I learn about teamwork, leadership, delegation, construction, and service. But the most important theme I have learned is that anyone can help the community, no matter what situation you find yourself in.
  – Dana Emswiler
TeenWorks Teen Board Chair
A sweet way to give back with Emerging Leaders! THANK YOU from my daughter Emilee. She is 6 years old with down syndrome. We had a great time [at United Way Emerging Leaders Suites & Treats event]!  – Rich Kuka
I always look forward to Emerging Leaders Leadership Forums I always look forward to the EL Leadership Forums and Mike Gausling [Managing Partner, Originate Ventures and former CEO of Orasure Technologies] didn’t disappoint. Mike articulately led us through his inspiring journey to success, providing lessons learned along the way.   – Ernie T. Stiegler
Director of Business Development, swb&r
Emerging Leaders, Member
2-1-1 Call from Company in LV Good Morning, I am a 2-1-1 I&R Specialist and I received a call from the HR Dept. of a company in Lehigh Valley. (In Lancaster County, our Resource Development Dept. appreciates knowing when companies who run a campaign call 2-1-1 for assistance). I'm not sure if you would like us to report these to you, but in the event that you do, here's a brief overview of the call: The HR Dept. of CNS Wholesale Grocers called 2-1-1 looking for assistance for a Spanish-speaking employee who has children and is experiencing homelessness. The employee (from zip code 18102) was able to stay with a friend last night and will likely be able to stay for another few nights. When asked, the employee indicated that they preferred not to go to a homeless shelter. I talked to the employee about New Bethany's Transitional Housing and suggested that they call for more details as it may be a good stepping stone to regaining stability. Because there is income, and the employee had some savings, I referred to PAHousingSearch.com for rental listings. In addition, the employee is receiving food stamps, so I recommended that they contact their case worker at the County Assistance Office to inquire about the Emergency Shelter Allowance program. I closed with encouraging the employee to reach out to 2-1-1 24 hours a day should they need any further assistance, or, if they needed information on emergency shelters. Thank you, Patricia PA 2-1-1 East – Patricia Espinosa-Vargas
Agency: 2-1-1
United Way Funded Program: 2-1-1
Meals on Wheels saved my life. "Meals on Wheels saved my life. If not for the volunteers who came on a Monday and knew something was wrong because my door was locked, I wouldn't be here. I fell on Saturday and couldn't get up. I yelled for help, but no one heard me. I thank God for Meals on Wheels and my friends who are volunteers. Every day they share their lives with me, their private stories; weddings, new babies, sewing tips, knitting tips, recipes. They are my connection to the world. I am so impressed with the meals, because they can accommodate a diabetic diet, and we also receive blizzard bags during the winter months.  Meals on Wheels always makes sure we are fed. Fish is my favorite with the stewed tomatoes, and macaroni and cheese." – Stella, 96
Agency: Meals on Wheels Lehigh County
United Way Funded Program: Meals Delivery
Three Years in Make Your M.A.R.K.™ Isaiah is a fourth grade student who just completed his third year in the Make Your M.A.R.K.™ Program. When he entered as a second grader, he was reading at a kindergarten level and struggled to do any work independently. His behavior and level of cooperation was less than desired as he often was ‘lost’ in the program and unable to function without one-on-one help. Being so far behind, he needed to work very hard to make progress of any kind. Although he did make advances, he continued to be behind. This year, he made huge leaps and bounds and truly thrived in the program. In October, his writing was scattered and he often asked for assistance in reading his stories. By May, he was reading 90% independently and his writing was structured, logical, and accurate. His motivation and confidence grew with every story successfully completed; which in turn improved his behavior. He was chosen as Student of the Month and was so proud. At Awards Night, the assistant principal commented, “We are very proud of the progress students are making here and the promotion of quality work ethics.” Isaiah believes the program has helped him in school and commented, “I love all the teachers because I worked hard and they picked me to be student of the month. Make Your M.A.R.K.™ made me read better and now I can read the best.” – Deborah Fries-Jackson, CEO, Boys & Girls Club of Allentown
Agency: Boys & Girls Club of Allentown
United Way Funded Program: Make Your M.A.R.K.™
Make Your M.A.R.K. - made a mark on me! Angel is a third grade student who was new to the Make Your M.A.R.K.™ program this year. Entering the program, he was below grade level in reading and had no confidence in himself or his abilities. He often took out his frustrations on his surroundings...talking out, teasing others, anything besides his work. After working in a small group for a few months, Angel turned his attitude around and became a stellar student. His abilities grew, and so did his confidence in himself to work independently. His grades improved on both his report card and within the program. He believes the program helped him in school and remarked "It helped me learn a lot...it was so cool I wish I can do it again it was so fun." At Awards Night, his older cousin remarked "Angel really likes Make Your MARK.™ He has really improved. Angel has now found a way to make new friends. He's now more communicative too." – Deborah Fries-Jackson, CEO, Boys & Girls Club of Allentown
Agency: Boys & Girls Club of Allentown
United Way Funded Program: Make Your M.A.R.K.™
2-1-1 Call from Northampton County Note: I am a 2-1-1 Information & Referral Specialist. This is not MY story, but one from a caller who reached out to me here at 2-1-1. --------------------------------------------- A caller from 18067 was referred to 2-1-1 by Hope for Veterans. The caller, a veteran, is in the foreclosure process and is looking for help to locate housing once they need to leave. While the home can be saved, the caller recognizes that the cost of the home is too much to maintain with only one income coming in at this time. The caller wants to stay in Northampton County because they have a child in Vo-Tech. 2-1-1 referred the caller to PAHousingSearch.com for rental listings, and encouraged them to either walk, or take a drive, around town to find rentals that may be advertised on the property itself (the caller had not thought to do this). For one-time housing assistance, the caller was referred to Catholic Charities, Hispanic American Organization, and Department of Human Services. The caller was already aware of the local Supportive Services for Veteran Families programs since they were referred to us by one of them. 2-1-1 then reviewed with the caller various assistance programs offered on a National level for veterans including Armed Forces Foundation, Finale Salute, and Army Emergency Relief. In the course of the conversation, the caller shared that they were likely to file for bankruptcy. The 2-1-1 call specialist expressed concern for the client since the majority of rentals run credit checks. Having a bankruptcy and a foreclosure could negatively impact the caller’s chances of locating a rental. 2-1-1 asked the caller if they would consider going through credit counseling to learn how to re-establish credit with their debtors. Caller was open to the thought and was referred to Neighborhood Housing Services Financial Management program. In addition, the call specialist noted that at times, when speaking to a landlord, offering to have a co-signer, or if possible, offering a double security deposit which may encourage a landlord to take a chance and overlook the bad credit. The caller was very thankful and stated that they would check in with the call specialist from time to time to review and follow-up. Thanks! Patricia – Patricia Espinosa-Vargas
Agency: 2-1-1
United Way Funded Program: 2-1-1
No One Could Help Me With My Homework “I couldn't get my homework done at home because it was too hard for me and my mom doesn’t really understand it either...I understand math way better now…I always get help from my tutor Madison.” – Kayla 9
Agency: Moravian College
United Way Funded Program: Homework Club
Good Spirit At Heart & Sole "It's not just about running, you have a good spirit surrounding you." – Imani, 12
Agency: Girls On the Run
United Way Funded Program: Heart & Sole
It wasn't just about earning a Bike! “Picking out a bike was my favorite part…but I liked when you could sometimes help fix your friend’s bike if you didn't need to work on yours that day. I think I could fix a bike if it broke now.” – Edgar A.
Agency: Community Bike Works
United Way Funded Program: Earn A Bike
TeenWorks Builds Confidence After serving on the TeenWorks Board and speaking at their annual Awards Dinner Brooke feels more confident in everything she does.  – Brooke Wejkszner
TeenWorks Board Member
I don’t know what made me reach out today but I am glad I did. A Lehigh Valley women reached out to United Way's 2-1-1 looking for substance abuse treatment programs for her child. After 2-1-1 connected her with local resources for her child they recieved the following response.

"Sometimes people come into your life for a reason .. Don’t know what made me reach out today but I am glad.  Thank you .. sometimes a parent needs to hear that they are doing all they can even when they feel unsure if they have." – Lehigh Valley Mom
Agency: Pennsylvania 2-1-1
YMCA Diabetes Support Group Recently I went to the doctor and they said that my heart is looking much better and that he is seeing great changes in my body. Thanks to the YMCA Diabetes Support Group I am learning how to eat and make healthy meals and feel comfortable working out. – Russel Haas
Agency: Allentown YMCA
United Way Funded Program: Diabetes Prevention Program: "Golden Opportunities"
Why I give to United Way I have always strongly believed in United Way. In my former job I was able to take a work day and go to a place in need of repair and paint, do construction, work with kids, read to kids, or do what was needed with a group of my co-workers. It was a great way to give back, but I actually received as well. It felt wonderful to help others in a different way than my daily job as a health care provider. I have given to United Way since 1987 and increased my giving as my salary increased. I specifically gave and worked with Turning Point, an organization that helps education about domestic violence and provides shelter for women and children who are experiencing domestic violence. Counseling for women and children are also a big part of the program. I believe United Way helps so many people in the Lehigh Valley. – Margaret Hayh

United Way Funded Program: Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley, Inc.
I went from being homeless to owning a small business in only six years I have worked for Via for 27 years, we have as long as I can remember had the opportunity to give to United Way. Just shy of 20 years ago, through a marriage that was difficult, sprinkled with domestic violence, I left my husband with my 10 year old son. Being afraid of what he would do, I went to Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley. I had the opportunity to get the counseling I needed, as well as did my son. I found a network of people who helped me feel good about myself and at the same time they helped me with my immediate needs. With their help, and with the support of the other families in the shelter at the same time, we bonded and became friends, one of whom is still my friend. Not knowing what was in my future, I had hope that my son and I would be safe. I became a volunteer myself and was able to help other women in crises when answering the hotline at Turning Point. I am happy to say that I went from being homeless to owning a small business in only six years, in part because of the contributions of people who donate to the United Way. Thank you. – Laura Smith

United Way Funded Program: Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley, Inc.
Having a hand in making the Lehigh Valley even more vibrant is a highlight of this position I have been personally involved with United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley for years through Women United, and I have seen firsthand the powerful impact of people pooling their resources to help their neighbors. It has been so rewarding to experience a campaign from the other side and to encourage colleagues to support the communities where we all live and work. Having a hand in making the Lehigh Valley even more vibrant is a highlight of this position. – Bevin Theodore
Campaign Coordinator, Talen Energy
WU Member
I would love to have my children attend this summer program every year! As a parent of four children who participated in the ACLA program this summer I could not be happier. My children loved the variety of programs and the opportunity to become leaders themselves. I also had the opportunity to coordinate with several moms to help out in the kitchen which really let them feel closer to their child's success. I would love to have my children attend this summer program every year. – Raquel R.
Agency: United Way Community School, McKinley Elementary
United Way Funded Program: Allentown Community Leadership Academy
I feel like I'm not alone with Samantha Rachel and her Big Sister, Samantha, were just matched in February 2015. Rachel had this to say about her Big Sister: "I feel like I'm not alone with Samantha. I feel like she's really a part of my family." Agency: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley
United Way Funded Program: School-Based Mentoring – Elementary School Level
Lehigh Valley Mentors are making an impact Jade and her Big Sister, Chris Kruklitis, just met in January through Big Brothers Big Sisters Site-Based Program at Jefferson Elementary. Both had a great time getting to know one another and are looking forward to the new school year. When asked about the best part of her experience, Jade had this to say: "Chris is awesome! I liked when we played games and made jewelry for Mother’s Day. When we'd play Connect Four I usually won, then I'd do my victory dance. Chris is always there for me and makes sure that I am safe. I cannot wait to see her again." In reflecting on her time with Jade, Chris had these thoughts about her Match: "Going every week and seeing Jada’s smiling face was tremendously rewarding. Jada was always excited to see me and do an [activity]. I enjoy the [BBBS] organization. I think it is organized and well ran. Jada’s positive feedback gives me a positive feeling about what I am doing."  Allentown
Agency: Big Brothers Big Sister
United Way Funded Program: School-Based Mentoring – Elementary School Level
I learned new skills like vowels, consonants and ABC’s. "Istation helped me because now I know all my letters. I enjoyed the program because it was fun and I got to read a lot. I learned new skills like vowels, consonants and ABC’s. In school, it helped me with reading tests. I know the letters now. Istation helped me learn how to read. They gave me a lot of books. It got hard, but then I graduated." – Willie, Istation Participant
Agency: Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Istation
Since going to the Club, my reading is much better I go to Roosevelt School. My name is Anthony. Reading was very hard for me and I was always afraid I would get called on to read in school. I missed many days of school. Since going to the Club, my reading is much better and I go to school every day. Thank you Boys & Girls Club of Allentown!  – Anthony
Roosevelt Elementary School Student
Agency: Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, Inc.
Mya's favorite part of the program is working with the teachers Mya has been coming to Make Your M.A.R.K.™ for three years. Her favorite part of the program is completing reading assignments and working with the teachers. She believes the program has helped her in school, and she likes to learn and have fun within the program. Mya wished Make Your M.A.R.K. ™ would go longer and she will miss it! – Mya
Make Your M.A.R.K.™, Participant
Agency: Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Make Your M.A.R.K.™
His favorite part of the program is working in Reading Terrence loves Make Your M.A.R.K.™. His favorite part of the program is working in reading and he believes his participation has helped him in school. His reasoning for coming to the program is to learn and do good things. If given the chance, Terrence would not change anything about the program, he loves it the way it is! – Terrence
Make Your M.A.R.K.™ Participant
Agency: Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Make Your M.A.R.K.™ K to 3
Boys & Girls Club of Allentown helped me with my reading and math "My name is Nyalise and I go to Roosevelt School. I started having trouble with math and reading in school and was failing. Going to the Boys & Girls Club of Allentown after school helped me with my reading and math. I struggled every day and now I’m doing much better."  – Nyalise
Student at Roosevelt Elementary School
Agency: Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Literacy 4 R Youth K–Third Grade
Giving Back at United Way's Day of Caring Our staff welcomed the opportunity to give back to our community by tackling a backyard clean-up project at Godfrey Daniels. It was a great day to spend time together. We enjoyed talking with Ramona LaBarre, managing director, during lunch. – Cheryl Hopkins
Knowing that you've helped someone will make your own life full “Emerging Leaders is important and meaningful to me because I feel that young professionals can gain important leadership skills by knowing their community and helping those in need. Whether it’s influencing young students or helping to supply food to older adults, knowing that you’ve helped someone will make your own life full and meaningful.” – Janelle Margolis
Customer Service, Target, Corp
Emerging Leaders, Member
Emerging Leaders believe we can make a difference by working together “I joined the Emerging Leaders because I believe that giving back is one of the most important things that everyone should do for their communities.  I am still young and feel that now is the time to start giving back, volunteering, and donating to the non-profits that matter most to me.  No matter how old you are, how much money you make, or where you are in life, everyone should try to help others.  The Emerging Leaders is a group of like-minded young professionals who believe that we can make a difference by working together.” – Katie Wallace
Director of Photography & Editor, ASR Media Productions
Emerging Leaders, Member
I wanted to give back to at-risk youth "I was seeking the opportunity to give back to at-risk youth who would be in need of extra inspiration and guidance. This is an extremely important value I need to exercise because I would not be where I am today without the blessings of people who genuinely cared about helping me. Being a part of Emerging Leaders grants me the privilege to do just that. I quickly discovered that there are so many other opportunities I can explore, learn about, and participate in as a bonus. This is a journey I am truly excited about." – Heather Price
Specialties Sales manager, Brenntag
Emerging Leaders, Member
I joined to fulfill my passion for Community Service "Joining Emerging Leaders is a great way to connect with the next generation of community leaders for the common goal of enhancing the Lehigh Valley. I joined the group not only to help fulfill my passion for community service, but to also grow personally and professionally. ELS has been able to provide the holistic experience I was looking for in a group. I highly encourage anyone looking for the same attributes as I was to check us out. The society is truly a one-of-a-kind experience in the Lehigh Valley." – Sean Linder, CFA
Financial Consultant, Concannon Wealth Management
Emerging Leaders, Member
I want to be an active member of the next generation of Leaders "Being a part of the Emerging Leaders is important to me because I want to be an active member of the next generation of leaders to have a positive impact on the Lehigh Valley. Giving back is extremely important to me because I know that my volunteer time and monetary contributions will help strengthen the community that we live in. This program also provides me the opportunity to network with the great leaders of the Valley which I hope will assist me to become a better civil servant in the years to come." – Mark Chando
Manager, Private Client Wealth Services, mfp | STRATEGIES
Emerging Leaders Membership Committee
Great opportunity to have a positive impact on our community "I joined ELS because it provides a great opportunity to both have a positive impact on our community and to network with other professionals in our area." – Ken Charette, Esq.
Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, P.C
Emerging Leaders Membership Committee
I enjoy getting involved here in the Lehigh Valley “Giving back has always been a passion of mine. I have always enjoyed volunteering and getting involved here in the Lehigh Valley.” – Aurora Beani
Human Resources Manager, Cenduit
Emerging Leaders Steering Committee
Improving the lives of women and children in our community "I am inspired by the women in the group who have chosen to donate their dollars and their time to improving the lives of women and children in our community." – Valerie Lane
Women United Member
Inspiring Commitment to Professional Excellence in the Community United Way congratulates Ashley Russo on being honored among the 2015 Forty Under 40 by Lehigh Valley Business (May 2015). Thanks for all you do, Ashley! – Ashley Russo
Creator/Host/Executive Producer "The Peak TV" | Founder & President, ASR Media Productions
Lean More about Ashley Russo's Impact
Every day our Members Contribute Great things to the Lehigh Valley United Way congratulates Bill Spence on receiving the 2015 Distinguished Citizen Award from the Minsi Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America (June 2015).You‘re a great example of what it means to LIVE UNITED, Bill! – Bill Spence
President, PPL Corporation
Lean More about Bill Spence's Impact
United Way Makes it Easy to Invest Efficiently "I have confidence in this well-managed philanthropic mutual fund as it helps align the varying community needs across four strategic areas – early childhood education, food access, healthy aging for seniors, and emergency services – with solution providers across the Lehigh Valley, holding these organizations accountable for achieving measurable differences." – Eric Luftig
Vice President, Victaulic
Generosity Grounded In Deep Lehigh Valley roots "I have been very fortunate to grow up in the Lehigh Valley and it has been a great place to build my career and raise my family. Through United Way, I am able to give back to my community and create better opportunities for my neighbors." – Wes Schantz
Partner, MFP Strategies
‘Building’ a Better Future To help serve others, the Orefield Middle School Builders Club traveled to two Philadelphia Ronald McDonald Houses, the Chestnut House & Erie House. These houses provide lodging for the families of sick children getting treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and St. Christopher’s Children’s Hospital. With TeenWorks funding, the club was able to prepare and serve a Mexican Fiesta Dinner to 200 people staying at the houses, as well as provide a craft for the children in the houses. 

“We Builders are proud to help these families with a cooked meal and some warm hospitality. This fabulous trip could not be possible without the help of TeenWorks! Thank you for helping us help others!” – The Orefield Middle School Builders Club, TeenWorks grant recipient
I was able to complete my project under budget "Thank you for the grant money. It made my project of a Gaga pit at Bethany Church much easier to complete. I was able to complete my project under budget and will be sending a check back to TeenWorks for $300. Hopefully someone else can benefit from the money." – Austin Miller, TeenWorks™ grant recipient Eagle Scout Project
I have been on the TeenWorks Board for the past three years and it has been a wonderful experience "I have been on the TeenWorks Board for the past three years and it has been a wonderful experience for me. I’ve made new friends, and helped many people through TeenWorks. It’s been a great three years, and I am excited to continue serving as a board member." – Emily Ahern, TeenWorks™ Board Member
Jim Volunteered with Meals on Wheels for 30 Years Jim volunteered during the very early years of Meals On Wheels. His service spanned over 30 years, delivering meals whenever and wherever he was needed. He also donated his time to help seniors prepare their tax returns. – Jim, 96 years old
Bethlehem, PA
Agency: Meals on Wheels of Northampton County
United Way Funded Program: Meal Subsidy Program - Home Delivered Meals
I Came to the Shelter With Nothing "As a single mother, I came to the shelter with nothing like most of us do. I started working while I continued going to school and living in this homeless shelter. I had a lot of hard times but I just thought about my child and what she deserved. I learned you can be successful if you stay focused." Allentown, PA
Agency: The Salvation Army of the Lehigh Valley
United Way Funded Program: Hospitality House
A Former Client Got a New Job with Better Pay "I was called by a former client whose son started kindergarten. The young mom was reflecting on what PATH had done to prepare John for school and how it had helped her as a mom. She reported that she has gotten a new job with better pay and more responsibility." Agency: Visiting Nurse Association of St. Luke's
United Way Funded Program: Parent Advocate in The Home (PATH)
I was Amazed at how much my Kids Started to Learn "When my family moved into the Third Street Alliance Shelter, I accepted a scholarship into The Learning Center. I was amazed at how this calmed the kids down and how much they started to learn. I now live in Bangor, but I still bring my children into Easton and I never miss an event with my kids." Bangor, PA
Agency: Third Street Alliance for Women & Children
United Way Funded Program: Learning Center Scholarship Fund
Project Helped me by Providing Food I can Choose Myself "For over two years, Project has helped me by providing food that I can choose myself. They even pay special attention to better nutrition and special diets! When reading small print became quite difficult, Project helped me get a vision exam and new glasses and now I can read perfectly!" – Bruce Ehly
Easton, PA
Agency: ProJeCt of Easton, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: ProJect of Easton Interfaith Food Pantry
I was Able to be on my School Baseball Team because I got to School More Often "I was able to be on my school baseball team because I got to school more often. That’s making me want to go to school more and get good grades. This year I got mostly A’s and B’s. I want to do this next year when I’m in 8th grade." – Issac
Allentown, PA
Agency: Pinebrook Family Services
United Way Funded Program: Making the Grade
Every Meal is like a Home Cooked Meal "Every meal is so good..just like a home cooked meal. My favorite is the meatloaf, but all of them are terrific and there aren’t any meals that I don’t like." Agency: Meals on Wheels of Northampton County
United Way Funded Program: Meal Subsidy Program - Home Delivered Meals
Meals on Wheels Helps me to Stay Independent "I am unable to cook meals on my own. I am in a wheelchair. Meals on Wheels helps me to be able to stay independent in my home. I look forward to seeing them and would miss them if Meals on Wheels did not come." – Shirley
Zionsville, PA
Agency: Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Meals Delivery
Words Can Not Express How Grateful We Are "Words can't begin to express how grateful we are to have opened our door to you! Thank you for all the wonderful things you taught Gavin. Your spirit touched our lives and will be remembered forever." – Ashley
Easton, PA
Agency: Family Connection of Easton, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Parent Child Home Program
My Daughter Loved Reading to the Therapy Dogs "I loved the program and my daughter loved it! She loved reading to the therapy dogs. She enjoyed all the different activities. It was her favorite club at school and she did not mind staying until 5:30 pm." – Nannie Guerra, Mother of Leah Guerra, 3rd grade student
Cheston Elementary School
Agency: Family Connection of Easton, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Cheston Cougars Learning Club (CCLC) at United Way Community School Cheston Elementary
I love Volunteering Immediately after completing his Earn a Bike class this year, Jose became a youth volunteer to help teach others. "I love volunteering at Community Bike Works. I get to serve people. It’s awesome."

Photo credit: Sasha Phyars-Burgess.
Jose is on the right.
– Jose, 14
Allentown, PA
Agency: Community Bike Works
United Way Funded Program: Earn A Bike
I felt respected and that my Ideas had Worth "We talked about different strategies that I could try at home and they could try at the daycare to stop Catalina’s behavior. I felt really good after each meeting. I felt respected and that my ideas had worth. I also felt that there was progress being made to stop her behavior." – Jole Cosme, Mother
Agency: Child Care Information Services, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Unconditional Child Care - Case-Based Services
I could not get to my Doctor Appointments without Escorted Transportation "I live by myself and could not get to my doctor appointments without escorted transportation. I know that I am healthier because I don't have to worry about my brother or sister having to take off from work to drive me!" Agency: Sights for Hope
United Way Funded Program: Escorted Transportation
You supported me Throughout it all and Helped me Become Stronger. "Thank you for everything you’ve done. I had a really tough year. You supported me through it all and helped me become stronger. I feel like Project Success was a great support.Thank you for being there for me through everything and helping to motivate me to succeed at school and everything else." Agency: Center for Humanistic Change, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Crossroads & Project Success Mentoring Program
I Helped Students Strengthen their Math Skills "I helped them practice their math facts on a weekly basis by doing memorization drills, flash card races, math 24 games, counting by groups, and timed tests for extra practice. I also worked with 2 students on various lessons pertaining to multiples and factors to strengthen their skills." Bethlehem, PA
Agency: Boys & Girls Club of Easton
United Way Funded Program: Project Learn
My Son's Grades and Behavior Immediately Improved "A father heard about our Project Learn program and requested a meeting with our staff. His 9 year old son was failing in school and he asked how the club could help. We enrolled him in our Project Learn program. His grades and behavior immediately improved and his self confidence continues to grow." Bethlehem, PA
Agency: Boys & Girls Club of Bethlehem, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Project Learn
My Daughter is an Outstanding Student Now "Make Your M.A.R.K.™ has provided a lot of help and tutoring to my daughter in which has improved her skills and grades in her classes and has made her an outstanding student in school and at home." Allentown, PA
Agency: Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Make Your M.A.R.K.™
My Grades Have Greatly Improved "When I came to the Club I had a very difficult time with my school work. I began to participate in the Literacy 4 R Youth Program every day after school. My grades at school have greatly improved over the school year. Thanks Boys & Girls Club!" – Erik
Allentown, PA
Agency: Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Literacy 4 R Youth
I love Imagination Station "I was in I Station for two years and I am now a smarter second grader. I can read better than ever. My teacher is proud that I had only one behavior problem compared to 12 last year. Plus, I now attend school 50% more of the time. I love I Station!" – Donovan
Allentown, PA
Agency: Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, Inc.
United Way Funded Program: Imagination Station
I have personally witnessed the change in the attitudes of our littles "I have personally witnessed the change in the attitudes of our Littles throughout the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Many come in with negative attitudes about the program but grow to love the time they spend with their Bigs. They smile and laugh during visits and are excited to see their Bigs when they arrive." – Michelle Renner, School-based Match Support Specialist
Bethlehem, PA
Agency: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley
United Way Funded Program: Bethlehem Area School District After School Mentoring Program
Before ShareCare I had No One "The friendly smiling volunteers help me with so many of my basic necessities of life. Before ShareCare I had no one; what ShareCare gives to me now is hard to put into words because they are my life, they are my family!" – Virginia Katsaromitsos
Agency: ShareCare Faith in Action
United Way Funded Program: ShareCare Transportaion Program
You've Really Made a Difference In Our Lives "We greatly appreciate you allowing us to have Girls on the Run at our school. We have been able to finish a 5K, become stronger and confident in all that we do. You’ve really made a difference in our lives!" – Girls on the Run Team
Fountain Hill Elementary School
Agency: Girls on the Run of Lehigh County
United Way Funded Program: Girls on the Run at United Way Community School Fountain Hill Elementary

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