With the holidays and new year approaching, Clearfield County residents may be looking for a way to spread seasonal cheer by helping out local charitable organizations and neighbors in need.
The Clearfield Area United Way, which includes 23 different agencies that are located in eastern, southern and central Clearfield County, is seeking help in continuing to meet the goals of its fall campaign.
Nancy Pinto of the Clearfield Area United Way says that the fall campaign is ongoing and that the CAUW has made progress toward its goal; however, volunteers are still working toward raising $210,000.
She says making a donation to the campaign this season is the best way for community members to help local agencies that are most in need.
“We help people from the infants to the elderly. When you give to United Way, you give once as a ripple effect,” she says. Donations are tax deductible and can be given in honor or in memory of an individual.
Donations to the United Way are used toward many different local agencies and programs, but several of the programs that local community members have benefited from specifically include the Jeans for Teens program, FamilyWize and the Reading Ripples program.
The Jeans for Teens program, which recently wrapped up, invited teens with financial need to shop for back-to-school clothing with the assistance of United Way volunteers.
CAUW partnered with retailers like Peebles and Wal-Mart to provide participants with $100 to help get them outfitted for the season.
Another helpful local program maintained by the United Way is the FamilyWize program. It is a discount prescription service that is available nationally through the United Way.
The program provides discounts on many prescription drugs that would otherwise be unaffordable, and features an online database where participants can search for participating pharmacies and specific prescription discounts.
According to numbers shared by the United Way, users have saved an average of 30 percent off of name-brand medications and 75 percent off of generic prescriptions.
Discount cards are available in the CAUW office in Clearfield, and information is also available on the FamilyWize Web site. Cardholders can show the discount card to their pharmacist to save on prescription medication.
Pinto says that the local community has taken advantage of the program, and that residents of the county have now saved more than $50,000 by participating over the years.
Though the FamilyWize program is certainly beneficial to residents, Pinto says it’s difficult to pinpoint specific agencies that are most in need this season, as the United Way agencies help a diverse span of individuals who all benefit from donations.
“Our agencies really run the gamut. So, we’ve got you know, the younger kids, our help through the daycare programs … and the area agency on aging helps the older folks,” she explains.
She says that general donations are a great way to help the United Way because the organization helps community members by providing programs for individuals of all ages, from “infants to elderly.”
In addition to funding programs that provide direct savings and assistance, Pinto says that the United Way provides many other local programs and things like daycare programs and a reading program for children and teens.
For those looking for another way to be charitable this season, Pinto suggests creating a donation box in individual offices or churches that can be used to collect gently-used books for the Reading Ripples program.
According to Pinto, the United Way’s Reading Ripples program has helped to provide books to over 5,000 children and teenagers.
“It’s a nice thing at Christmas, and especially before Christmas when people are kind of weeding out closets, we ask for new or gently-used books.”
Volunteers can place a box in their office or school and those individuals can gather donations.
To find out more about the Reading Ripples Program or about donating, visit http://clearfieldareaunitedway.org.
Donations to the fall campaign fund can be sent to CAUW, 18 N. Second St., P.O. Box 1430, Clearfield, PA 16830.