United Way settles into office as first tenant in former Swan Library

Posted 23 September 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Marsha Rivers, executive director of the United Way of Orleans County, has an office in the southeast corner of the former Swan Library, a spot that used to have several tall shelves of books.

Press Release, United Way
ALBION – United Way of Orleans County has taken its place as the first office occupant of the former Swan Library, 4 North Main St., just in time to begin its fall campaign.

The annual kick-off will be Oct. 22 at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, but fundraising is already under way. Albion and Medina Tops Markets began their United Way campaign this week, and dozens more companies and organizations are signing on to offer employees the giving opportunity that gives back to the community in dozens of ways.

Executive Director Marsha Rivers, who this week marks her first year at the helm of the county-wide charitable organization, said: “When I’m out and about, people ask me things like, ‘Why should I give to the United Way?’ Or, ‘What difference can my little bit make?’ And my answer is the old saying: ‘Every little bit helps!’ Because it’s true.”

United Way hosts campaigns at about 40 local workplaces and receives additional donations from several dozen companies and hundreds of individual donors. The organization then distributes funds to about 20 local programs, among them Arc of Orleans’ Meals on Wheels, Orleans County Adult Learning Services’ literacy programs, and Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern’s Last Resort for emergency assistance. Funding applications for 2016 are now available to non-profit agencies and due Nov. 2.

The former Swan Library was purchased by Chad Fabry of Holley who wants to use the three-story site for offices.

“A gift to United Way goes a long way,” Rivers said. “Last year we showed donors how just two dollars per week could pay for a child’s registration to Camp Rainbow, or sponsor their attendance at 4-H Conservation Days.

“This campaign season, I’m sharing true stories about how seemingly small gestures or changes have made a huge difference in people’s lives, right here in Orleans County, through United Way donor dollars.”

The office relocation brings United Way closer to many of its partner agencies’ headquarters, based in the county seat. It is also a smaller space than the previous office, reducing rental costs and allowing United Way to help the community even more, Rivers said.

“Again, every little bit helps – I personally contribute to the campaign, so I understand how much it matters that this money is invested carefully, wisely. A big part of my job is trying to maximize the impact of our donors’ generosity.”

In addition to the ongoing workplace campaigns and the direct mail appeal this fall, United Way is hosting its annual volunteerism event, Day of Caring, on Oct. 23. A second day, Oct. 24, is being offered as an option for local high school students looking for opportunities to fulfill their schools’ community service requirements.

Day of Caring participants should call the United Way at their new number, 585-283-4773. During campaign season, public office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Rivers may also be reached via email mrivers@orleansunitedway.org.