United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area was nominated by Patti Robinson who writes: The United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area is an agency that works collaboratively with other agencies, companies and individuals in order to make our area a better place for everyone who lives here, not just those they serve. It is a perfect example of “community activism that promotes collaborative conflict resolution.” The mission of our local United Way is to mobilize the caring power of the Valley & Greater Utica Area by connecting people, resources and ideas to create a thriving community. In its simplest form, United Way is a social change organization. With the help of volunteers, they attempt to identify community issues, gather the community around the issue and then get funding to support the solution. The United Way does not function outside of collaboration because their staff partners with community volunteers in order to determine how to best serve the Mohawk Valley. Local volunteers staff all the board of directors, allocation panels and funding committees. The money raised stays in this area to fund agencies that are vetted by local volunteers to make sure the funds are being used effectively according to the standards that local volunteers help determine.
Some of the events that the United Way puts on in order to help our community are their Annual Tailgate Party, LIVE UNITED Hockey Night with Utica College, Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, Saranac Thursdays and Concert Series, Boilermaker Pasta Dinner, Day of Action, Drives including Diaper, Summer Reading Book Drive and Back-to-School Supplies, Family Fun Day, 9/11 Day of Service and their Days of Caring. The list of agencies that the United Way funds, partially or fully or with volunteer help is long: Emergency Response and Preparedness Blood Services Services to Armed Forces Domestic Violence Program of Herkimer County Runaway & Homeless Youth Program Community Assistance Country Pantry Emergency Food Shipments Foothills Rural Community Food Pantry Hope House JPA Homeless Housing Assistance Program Emergency Legal Safety Net Services Eleanor Walsh Wertimer Children's Center CASA/CCAP SA Café Hall House Sexual Violence Services & Child Advocacy of Herkimer County Domestic Violence Sexual Violence Non-Residential Adolescent Health Initiative RIDE Program of Herkimer County Domestic Violence and Aggression Reduction JPA Love & Care Family and Single Women Initiative Ensuring Language Access to Limited English Clients PSC Health and Wellness Programs Community Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Elderly Services Community Dentistry Program DOVE Program Project Learn & Teen Transport Community Dispute Resolution Center Second Step What About Me? Grief in the Classroom Drop-In Youth Center CORE (Community of Resources and Expertise) Learning Disability Association of the Mohawk Valley Counseling Services Child Care Services Kids with Promise LeapStart Playgroup Resolving Conflict Through Good Decision Making YMCA of MV Youth Services Program Domestic Violence/Sexual Violence Prevention Education John Bosco House Transitional Living Care AARP Bill Payer Program Main Street Mohawk Valley Asset Building Coalition Employment Services Child Care Disadvantaged Job Readiness Willow Commons New Horizons Safe Sleep For Babies Community Gang Assessment Project Job Placement and Work Experience Medical Equipment for Reproductive Health Truly, where would our small community be without the United Way? This agency exemplifies collaborative peaceful living in our community every day. The United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area is the perfect choice and a lasting example for The Community Peacemaker Award.