Local United Way reaches 80 percent of its fundraising goal

From staff reports

LEWISTOWN – The United way of Mifflin-Juniata has reached 80 percent, or $479,623 of it’s $600,000 goal.

A home is closely correlated with hope. Having a safe place of solace for you and your family is a comfort that cannot be easily expressed. To lose everything from your home-clothes, food, and protection-in a sudden flash of disaster is a painful and overwhelming experience. The United Way of Mifflin-Juniata stands with the American Red Cross serving Central Pennsylvania as a beacon to those facing such a loss.

The American Red Cross responded to 162 disasters in the Susquehanna Valley during the past year, caring for the needs of 245 families. More specifically, 60 individuals from 21 families in Mifflin and Juniata counties received aid from the Central Pennsylvania division. Without this support, many local people would be left without homes or resources in the difficult span of time that follows tragedy.

The America Red Cross works to prevent and alleviate human suffering. As an agency that is driven almost completely by volunteers, there is a key emphasis on preparedness-it is their focus to train individuals, businesses and community groups, all for the objective of forward thinking. To Ellen Kyzer, Regional Executive Officer, the impact of the overall organization relies on the dedication of local residents.

“Almost everything we do is by the power of volunteers,” she said.

The American Red Cross relies on the generosity of others to ensure this relief-the United Way proudly tells donors that an average of 91 cents of every dollar is invested in humanitarian services. Chris Weidenhammer, Regional Disaster and Programs Officer, has seen devastation first hand and knows the power of each contribution, describing his job as an opportunity “to tell [victims] that it’s going to be OK.”

The United Way appreciates their role in the community and gladly continues to support the Red Cross through the 2014 campaign.