United Way of Orleans County sets $250K fundraising goal for 2021

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 12 October 2020 at 3:16 pm

In spite of challenges ahead, United Way of Orleans County has announced an ambitious goal of $250,000 for 2021.

‘’This is $50,000 higher than last year’s goal, but we are confident we can hit the number,” said executive director Dean Bellack.

With the restrictions placed on workplaces by the Covid pandemic, United Way acknowledges workplace campaigns will not take place as usual.

“We are making adjustments with electronic giving options and a video presentation,” Bellack said.

Last year United Way was instrumental in $246,500 in grants being received from outside the county. These included funding from the Buffalo Community Response Fund, ESL Savings Bank, United Health Care Blue Fund, Heritage Wind and FEMA.

These dollars were directed to agencies based on the recommendations of the United Way board, with some decision making from community partners, such as Darren Wilson from the Lyndonville Foundation, Bruce Schmidt of Community Action and the Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern. Also instrumental in helping decide where funding should go were United Way board members Jodi Gaines and Jackie Gardner.

A consultant is being hired this week to begin work on helping to close the digital divide in the county.

“We are also in the process of putting together the framework for hiring a community grant writer to assist all agencies in bringing in more dollars to help those in need in Orleans County,” Bellack said.

Last Friday, United Way of Orleans County had its first chicken barbecue, which sold 1,000 dinners and netted the agency $4,511.

“We hope everyone enjoyed their dinner and we hope they will all consider a donation to United Way to help us in our mission to help the residents of Orleans County,” Bellack said. “The mission of United Way of Orleans County is to explore every logical partnership and every funding source to impact our community as positively as we can.”

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