Benevolent mission complicated by COVID-19 for local United Way
EAST LIVERPOOL — The United Way of Southern Columbiana County is really counting on its mailing campaign in 2020 to help sustain its funding of its local charitable efforts.
In midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Candy Faloon, local agency executive director, explained that their work is more needed than ever before.
“Our mission is to fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community (in East Liverpool, Lisbon, Calcutta, Wellsville, Chester and Newell),” she explained and that need has increased due to the nature of the pandemic. “These agencies are on the frontlines, fighting battles and giving hope in our communities every day.”
None of their member agencies sustained less of a need due to COVID, which caused many local residents to lose jobs, increasing their need for food and services, like rent and utility support; and suffer health setbacks.
For example, efforts like the Catholic Charities senior center saw more people needing to take advantage of their hot meals’ delivery — especially senior citizens, who were among the most vulnerable for exposure and death from the coronavirus.
That meant the help and guaranteed committee of the United Way of Southern Columbiana County was more necessary than ever.
“I am so proud of all our agencies,” Faloon continued. “I don’t think people realize what this money has enabled us to do. These agencies depend on us, and we depend on (the public).”
With the majority of their in-person fundraisers, such as the wine and craft beer event, canceled earlier this year due to the risk, the local United Way chapter is completely reliant on the fundraising letters to generate their $90,000 goal that will be mailed out to 500 individuals and businesses.
The local United Way has found success with a few smaller non in-person fundraisers throughout 2020. By selling raffle tickets for an Ohio State University cornhole game packaged with a $50 Casa de Emanuel gift certificate, the local raised $2,500 towards its cause.
And, they are preparing to field its Woofstock event Saturday, Sept. 26 in the parking lot of Wellsville Save-A-Lot.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., dog lovers can support the agency, which will be holding a dog show, a police canine demonstration by Wellsville’s own K-9 Chief and a meet and greet with adoptable dogs courtesy of the Columbiana County Dog Pound.
For the United Way, there will be many ways to give.
There will be no entry fee for the dog show, which will award prizes in a variety of categories ranging from size to best behaved; however, the United Way also will be selling tickets for a basket auction.
Participants can purchase 26 tickets for $10 to be included for items like fall wreaths, George Foreman grills, and wine baskets.
A minimum of 30 prizes will be up for grabs.
Other items like a portable full-sized basketball hoop also will find a home.
“It has been hard to come up with fundraisers that we can do outside,” Faloon added.
They still hope to do a few of their regular favorites, like the 12 Gifts of Christmas, and bring back the hugely successful wine and craft beer event in the spring of 2021. (Speaking of the wine and craft beer event, unredeemed tickets that were purchased to this past year’s event, which had to be canceled due to the pandemic, will be honored at 2021’s event.)
Faloon is the local agency’s only full-time, paid employee and she credits an able and creative board for continued success amidst this pandemic hiccup, which has caused a hard year for the agency.
Currently the board of directors is made up of Daniel Winston, Karen Montgomery, Mike Dyer, Sheryl Gibson, Cathy Grafton, Shannon Giambroni, Mike Davis, Christopher Weeda, Amelia Cicone, Brock Ford, Jill Wendell and Leah Haustman.
The non-profit website Charity Navigator has awarded the United Way’s national group a 94.69 out of 100, including a perfect score for its accountability and transparency as well as a 92.50 in regards to its finances.
Generally anything higher than 90 is considered an A plus rating.
It is this mission, which is driven towards helping people in need rather than padding the pockets of the well-to-do that has inspired many board members at the local level.
Montgomery, who serves as first vice president for the local, explained, “(Faloon) is the heart of the organization. There is not enough money to cover her compassion,” which makes her an exceptional fit for this job.
Quick to turn the conversation back from her to her agencies, Faloon also reminds individuals of how important it is to volunteer for their member agencies, whether it is serving someone a meal or counseling an addict especially amidst this pandemic as a lot of this has fallen in the past on the elderly, who find themselves more vulnerable due to pre-existing conditions to the virus.
Member agencies include:
– The Family Care Ministries offers addiction recovery service and life skills training to the vulnerable.
– Family and Community Services of Columbiana County assists with rent assistance and utility shut off notices to assure that county residents continue to live in healthy environments.
– Valley Parish Nurse Ministry teach healthy lifestyles and assist with early detection.
– Wellsville First Christian Church operates a youth program with weekly programs ranging from block parties to Mission Wellsville.
– Catholic Charities Regional Agency and Senior Center provides hot, home delivered meals to approximately 70 people weekly five days a week as well as frozen meals on weekends and holidays. They also offer a non-food pantry and monthly community meals.
– Camp Fire Tayanoka presents nature programs to preschool through elementary school age classes to enhance school curricula as well as offer clubs that promote youth to become better stewards of their communities.
– Christina House provides shelter counseling, legal and financial assistance to domestic violence victims.
– The Salvation Army of East Liverpool offers community support programs, financial assistant to clients as well as referral services, including an emergency food pantry, ELSA’s Kitchen and coats and shoes for kids.
– Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio partners local girls with positive role models to encourage positive and healthy youth development.
She also reminds that individuals can donate through mailing a check, a button on their Facebook page, or through a payroll deduction. Donations also can be earmarked to a member agency of their choice by writing their agency of choice on the memo line of the check.
For more information, contact Faloon or the United Way of Southern Columbiana County at 330-385-2082 or email email@example.com. Donations can be mailed to United Way of Southern Columbiana County, P.O. Box 646; East Liverpool, OH 43920.