Donors Help United Way surpass goals

GENESEE COUNTY — The United Way of Genesee County raised more than $11 million in its annual campaign, according to a press release last week.

The completion of the county-wide campaign will allow the United Way to fund programs to help 57,000 men, women and children who need food, clothing, education, shelter and counseling. This exceeds a goal set last year to increase donations enough to reach 50,000 people, which is based on an analysis of United Way-Funded partners and direct internal services.

“This campaign has brought together an incredible array of volunteers and donors,” said Robert Gaydos, chairman of the annual United Way campaign, who is plant manager of the General Motors Customer Care and Aftersales Flint Processing Center. “Individuals, businesses, labor unions, elected officials and community organizations from all corners of Genesee County have helped the United Way exceed its lives improved and community impact goals.”

Gaydos said the United Way’s total community impact exceeded $11 million. Last year, the agency’s total community impact – measured by donations and leveraged funds — topped $9.25 million. Funds were raised in workplaces, special events and through corporate donations, including a $34,000 check presented by First Merit, which hosted the celebration.

“Even while some economic indicators show things are improving in some sectors many people, from children to seniors, are in need of help,” said Jamie Gaskin, CEO of the United Way of Genesee County. “It is heartening to see people and organizations come together to help us increase support for basic needs for people throughout the county.”

In addition to announcing the annual results, the United Way celebration featured Jim Abbott, Flint native and former professional baseball pitcher.

Abbott was in town to help the United Way of Genesee County launch its new early childhood literacy project, A to Z Learn with Me, which promotes early childhood literacy while connecting families to developmental programs just after birth.

As part of the initiative children born at Genesys Regional Medical Center, Hurley Medical Center, or McLaren Flint will receive a specialized visit from hospital personnel to understand the importance of beginning development early.

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