United Way of Mifflin-Juniata at 85 percent of its goal

LEWISTOWN – The United Way of Mifflin-Juniata has reached 86 percent, or $515,543 of its goal of $600,000, during the campaign that began Sept. 18 and runs until March 15.

For nearly 30 years, the Paul W. DeLauter Youth Center and United Way of Mifflin-Juniata have partnered together to create a welcoming environment for the children and teenagers of Juniata County. The center operates as an outlet to those who may not have a place to go, allowing them to connect with peers in a safe setting. In this ever-changing society, DeLauter has retained its original focus while still finding ways to reach this generation of young people.

DeLauter is free to the public, offering all area children a home away from home. Recent additions to the facility include an updated computer lab and a Wii gaming system. The computers are remarkable tools for students without household internet access, providing an opportunity to complete school assignments and develop computer skills. Other favorite activities include volleyball, ping pong, crafts, board games, and more. As participation has increased in time, DeLauter split the program into two age groups. Tuesday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. serve eighth to twelfth graders, while fourth through seventh graders attend on Thursdays, also from 6 to8 p.m.

James McLaughlin, DeLauter’s board president, values his long-term involvement in the program. The impact of DeLauter is obvious to the children who attend – McLaughlin fondly remembers a boy who told him, “I live for Thursday nights when I come to the youth center.” A few hours spent at DeLauter are truly an immeasurable help for many local kids.

McLaughlin said this fact is made possible by United Way funding- “We wouldn’t operate without it.” You can be sure to continue this work and the work of other agencies around the Mifflin-Juniata region by contributing to the 2014 United Way campaign, which closes March 15.