United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Raises $25,002,145 to Meet Critical Community Needs

United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley’s supporters raised a record-breaking $25,002,145 during the organization’s annual fundraising campaign, marking 14 consecutive years of growth for the nonprofit. The campaign was chaired by Tony and Adrienne DaRe of BSI Corporate Benefits with a specific emphasis on the region’s rising mental health needs.

“At BSI, we saw this need and heard it personally as we visited United Way Community Schools and Healthy Aging Community Hubs,” said BSI Corporate Benefits Chief Executive Officer Tony DaRe. “We knew it was imperative that we act now. That’s the inspiration behind UNITED for Mental Health. By integrating new solutions into our existing networks, United Way can take swift, effective and meaningful action to tackle the mental health crisis in our community.”

United Way announced the results today during Celebration of Caring, presented by Crayola. The event celebrates and honors the collaborative spirit and profound impact achieved through the dedication of organizations, United Way donors, volunteers and partners positively impacting the lives of over 175,000 people this year.

“Thanks to our dedicated supporters, over 120,000 people were connected to food, housing and mental health services, quality of life was improved for nearly 10,000 older adults and caregivers and over 40,000 students were supported so they can thrive in school,” said United Way President David Lewis.

“We are grateful for each and every person who stepped up to create real and lasting change in the Greater Lehigh Valley, and we’d especially like to thank Tony and Adrienne DaRe for rallying incredible support,” said Lewis.

Throughout the annual campaign, which ended on March 31, 2024, BSI Corporate Benefits pledged to make an additional gift in honor of every new or increased donation to support our neighbors’ mental health needs. Across the nation, mental health needs are rising rapidly, creating substantial impacts on all parts of life including physical health, quality of life and even a student’s ability to learn in school.

“So many people in our community are struggling, and we believe we can make a real difference by working together to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and to raise funding for numerous United Way-supported programs and efforts to connect children, parents, employees and their families with the services they need,” said Adrienne DaRe.

Altogether, a strong network of partners and donors increased their contributions to the annual campaign, which ran from April 2023 to March 2024. PPL Corp.’s employees, retirees and corporate foundation have contributed more than $6,000,000 for the second year in a row—a first for our United Way; Air Products raised more than $5,000,000 for the third consecutive year; City Center Group and Crayola each raised more than $1,000,000.

“Thanks to the support over the past year, your United Way invested record-breaking funding into the community at a time our neighbors need it most. With carefully vetted and evaluated programs, our solutions in Education, Healthy Aging and Community Stability are driving positive outcomes across the board,” said United Way Board Chair Dorota Gasienica-Kozak, Partner, King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC Law Firm.

At this year’s event, the organization recognized David Lewis’ 36-year career with United Way and celebrated the new dynamic, incoming CEO, Marci Lesko. This transition marks a pivotal moment for the organization, signifying continuity growth, and a renewed vision for the future.

“It’s almost impossible to think about David without thinking of Marci Lesko. They have been the dream team for the past decade. As a Board, we have full confidence in Marci’s ability to lead us into this next chapter. Her dedication, vision and strategic prowess have already proven to be invaluable assets to our organization, and we stand firmly behind her as she takes the helm,” said Gasienica-Kozak.

Also during the ceremony, four organizations were honored and presented awards. Award recipients included:

PPL LIVE UNITED Award – HNL Lab Medicine
Community Builder Award – Veronica Gonzalez and Valley Health Partners
Campaign Chairs’ Award  Quadrant Capital
Air Products Leonard Pool Impact Award  Valley Youth House

Valued community partners in sponsorship for this year’s Celebration of Caring include: 
Presenting sponsor – Crayola 
Platinum sponsor – Dual Temp Company Inc.
Silver sponsor – Air Products
Bronze sponsors – Capital Blue Cross; Fulton Bank; Highmark Blue Shield; Just Born Quality Confections, LLC; Olympus
Pearl sponsor – Equinox Benefits Consulting; King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul; Lehigh Valley Health Network
In-kind sponsors – ASR Media; City Center Group; RichMar Florist; Social T Marketing; Working Dog Press