Each year, thousands of employees at hundreds of local companies donate through work place campaigns to Lycoming County United Way - generally about 60 percent of the total monies raised to support local human service programs.
This year, employees of Kellogg Co. in Muncy donated more than $50,000, which then was matched by Kellogg's corporate.
"Kellogg Co. has a long history of supporting the communities where we do business, and this year was no different," said Steve Surovec, facility manager. "Our employees rallied in a time of need, and contributed more than they ever have for this year's United Way campaign. I'm very proud of them, and feel good knowing that our contributions will help make a difference for residents in Lycoming County."
The Senior Management at Larson Design Group bravely took a lot of pie in the face for a good cause.
Employees of AutoTrakk, a relatively new company to the United Way campaign, increased their donation by more than 150 percent above last year.
According to the director of human resources Jacqueline Ray, "Auto Trakk LLC hoped to motivate it's staff when many more of us find ourselves able to relate to what organizations such as our local United Way, provide to so many when we face challenging times and always.
"We invited representatives of United Way and local program participants to our company site on several occasions to meet with staff, and came out with wonderful results from this exposure," Ray explained. "We generated a total of $6,611, which is a $3,463 increase from last year. Those that have given before gave a little more and those who had not given in the past contributed what they could. When such generosity was expressed by our staff force, Auto Trakk LLC as a company matched these efforts by donating additional $6,700 to make our total contribution $13,311."
"The residents of Lycoming County are generous people. At a time when many people are tightening their belts, employees of participating companies are grateful that they have a belt to tighten and they have pitched in to help their neighbors in need," stated LCUW volunteer campaign chairman Dr. Oscar W. Knade. "Without their support, critical local human service programs that serve children, seniors and people with special needs would be in jeopardy."
While payroll deduction is the most convenient method of contributing, several companies hosted special events and-or offered incentives to employees who donate, or a combination of these options.
Management at Larson Design Group (LDG) wanted to find a creative way to encourage employees to donate and came up with a pie-throwing contest.
"We were happy to take some pudding and whipped cream in the face (and hair and clothes!) for such a good cause," joked Keith Kuzio, CEO.
Through payroll deduction and the pie throwing contest, employees of LDG donated more than $31,000, almost one-third more than last year.
Employees of Albright LIFE, (Living Independently For Elders, which offers medical care, day care, home care and social services to elderly adults) hosted a dessert-tasting event in which the staff prepared sweet treats and opened the facility to the public for $5 to enjoy 10 tastes.
Employees of the Loyalsock Township School District more than doubled their giving this year over last year plus they kicked off their in-house campaign with a dress down day to generate additional funds.
Several local companies are proud to have 100 percent of employees participate in United Way giving, among them are: Charlotte Pipe & Foundry, Schrader Architectural Products and Keystone Data Systems.
"It takes many donations to add up to what our human service programs need to operate," said Scott N. Lowery, LCUW executive director. "It is wonderful to see the generosity of both the traditional employee payroll deduction and these creative new events. The contributions made by employees throughout the county are invaluable. Every dollar helps and we are proud of the fact that 97 percent of the dollars raised stay here in Lycoming County."
For information on how to support this year's United Way campaign call 323-9448 or visit www.lcuw.org.