By the Way: News from United Way of Lebanon County (Oct. 2018)

By the Way...

Our 2018-2019 Campaign is Underway.

1,800 First Graders Have Received Success Kits.

We Stuffed the Bus to Help Students in Our Community.

2019 Funding Opportunities Focus on Collaboration.

Volunteer Lebanon Connects Nonprofits with Volunteers.

United, We Build Our Future. (a message from our 2018-2019 campaign chair)

2018-2019 United Way Campaign Kicks Off: United, We Build Our Future

The theme of our annual campaign for 2018-2019  is “United, we build our future.” We recognize that not one person, or even one organization, can transform our community alone. Through the vision and purposeful work of countless members of our community, we can shape a positive future for Lebanon County together. 


On August 31, over 100 community leaders, nonprofit agencies, and United Way supporters came together to celebrate the official kickoff of our 2018-2019 campaign season.

The breakfast event began with welcoming remarks from United Way of Lebanon County CEO, Kenny Montijo. Army National Guard Veteran, Shawn Wright, shared his story of overcoming homelessness and addiction, and how he is currently working towards his goal of becoming a peer specialist thanks to a United Way funded program at P.R.O.B.E. 

Our campaign chair, Kristen Watts, shared her personal story about the support her family received when facing the unknowns of raising a child born with an intellectual disability. She then introduced the campaign cabinet members in attendance, who shared this year’s campaign goal, $1,750,125. 

The next presenter was Patricia Walter, co-president of the Cornwall Manor Society and retired music teacher. Pat shared how her time teaching allowed her to gain a better understanding of and appreciation for the diversity within our community. She also emphasized the importance of programs for children and youth, and how the positive impact of these programs can make all the difference when kids are faced with decisions that could change the trajectory of their lives. Closing remarks were given by René Numer, United Way Board President.

A special thank you to everyone who attended and those who generously gave to United Way at our kickoff breakfast. Thanks to the generosity of our community through time, talent, and financial support, we are looking forward to working together with all of you to build a stronger future for Lebanon County. 

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1st Grade Success Kits Provided to Every 1st Grader in Lebanon County

United Way’s 1st Grade Success Program provided success kits to every first grader in Lebanon County, about 1,800 students. Teachers were asked to hand out these kits during the first week of school to help students start the year off on the right foot. The program seeks to engage with all families across our community, regardless of their socioeconomic status. We want to partner with schools and families to help lay a strong foundation for local students to succeed as well  as establish ongoing, collaborative relationships with students and their families. Each kit included tangible school supplies, a Live United Class of 2030 t-shirt to help children set the goal of high school graduation, and a family resource guide. 
This program would not have been possible without the generous support of UPMC Health Plan and UPMC Pinnacle as the supporting sponsors of this year’s Success Kits, Mr. and Mrs. Edward & Jeanne Arnold, AT&T, The Hershey Company, Lancaster-Lebanon Education Foundation, Lebanon Federal Credit Union, the PPL Foundation, and PSEA. Thank you to Cummins for their help in packing the success kits, and Colortech and The Salvation Army for their help in delivering them to the schools. Thank you all for your support of the Class of 2030! 

Lebanon County Stuffed the Bus Again to Help Students in Need

United Way held our 10th annual “Stuff the Bus” school supply collection in partnership with the Salvation Army. In the past, there were multiple collection sites throughout the county. This year, we celebrated the program with a one-day collection and Parking Lot Party to truly stuff one bus with supplies and thank those who donate. 

Business representatives, families, and individuals stopped by the Kohl’s parking lot throughout the day on July 27 to donate all types of school supplies and enjoy music, games, food, and fun. Thanks to the generosity of our community, 532 backpacks were stuffed with school supplies and distributed to families in need who had registered with the Salvation Army. An additional 125 empty backpacks were given to Head Start. 

Stuff the Bus was held in partnership with The Salvation Army and Kohl’s, with additional support provided by Aetna Better Health, Brightbill Transportation, and Domino’s Pizza. Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers helping throughout the day as well! 

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United Way's Collective Impact Vision: Breaking Barriers, Building Communities. 

After several years of planning and input from the Lebanon County community, United Way’s collective impact funding application process began on October 1. The “Breaking Barriers. Building Community.” Investment Framework will align community resources to focus on addressing systemic issues through a collaborative, community approach.

“Breaking Barriers. Building Community.” is a significant milestone in the transition of United Way from simply a community chest that funds a limited number of nonprofits to a community impact organization investing in intentional partnerships working together with a focus on long-term solutions within our community. This framework identifies community goals to empower adults, families, and children alike to rise from poverty, break multi-generational barriers, and reach their potential:

United Way is looking forward to collaborating with local individuals and organizations to build a stronger community for all residents of Lebanon County. Click here for more information. 

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Volunteer Lebanon: An Online Hub Connecting Nonprofit Organizations with Volunteers

Earlier this year, United Way launched Volunteer Lebanon, a free online resource designed to connect nonprofit organizations with volunteers. 

Are you a nonprofit in need of volunteers for one-time projects, events, or ongoing needs?

  • Keep your opportunities and registered volunteers organized in one easy-to-use platform. 
  • Customize your own agency profile, and easily share it with your audience.
  • Send communications to your volunteers, track hours, and more! 
  • Reach additional potential volunteers being driven to the portal by United Way and other organizations. 

Are you an individual or organization looking for opportunities to give back to your community? 

  • Search by dates you are available, causes you support, and more. Get alerts when new opportunities are available matching your interests.
  • Keep track of your volunteer activities, share your community support, and invite others to join you! 

Click here to sign up your agency or to find volunteer opportunities today! 

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Community Voices: A Message from United Way's Campaign Chair

United, We Build Our Future.
Kristen Watts | Fulton Bank
United Way of Lebanon County Board Member and 2018-2019 Campaign Chair

United, We Build Our Future! What a perfect motto for our United Way campaign. It really speaks to our community and how we work together in order to build a beautiful place to live, work, and enjoy all that our local community offers!

As a Lebanon native, I have been fortunate to spend my life living and working in this community. My connection with United Way dates back to 1989, when I began volunteering with United Way of Lebanon County, delivering campaign materials to local businesses in support of their workplace campaigns. I had an appreciation for what United Way stood for and how its support helped so many charitable organizations and residents in our community, never dreaming that I, or a member of my family, would one day be a benefactor of that generosity.

Many of you may know my story. I have a son who was born with an inherited form of intellectual disability called Fragile X Syndrome. His early years and childhood were full of specialists, therapists, special education teachers and a lot of challenges navigating this new world. 

Fortunately, Andy is now a healthy 24-year-old who enjoys life to the fullest! It didn’t happen by accident, though, or without a lot of work and help from several local organizations who receive United Way funding. My family has been truly blessed to live in a community that offers so much to its residents in their time of need.

Today, I have the privilege of serving on United Way of Lebanon County’s Board of Directors and as the Campaign Chair for the 2018-2019 United Way campaign. I know firsthand how much good comes from the generosity of this community. 

Please join me in helping to continue the great work being done by so many in this community by supporting the campaign. Your support truly makes a difference.

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Thank You Campaign Sponsors!

Mid-Campaign Community Leadership Meeting

November 29, 2018 • 5:30pm • Lebanon Country Club

Sponsored By:

Campaign Celebration

January 31, 2019 • 5:30pm • Alden Place

Sponsored By:

2018-2019 Campaign Sponsors

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100% of Your Gift Stays Local

Thanks to the generosity of our Building Block Partners, 100% of your gift goes directly to impact programs here in Lebanon County. Thank you to these sponsors!

Questions or comments about our newsletter? Contact Flame Vo, Director of Marketing & Communications.