United Way of Summit County will wrap up 2017 – the second year of it its year-round engagement calendar – with record numbers for volunteers and supplies collected. In total, 3,156 people took part in volunteer opportunities throughout the year, and United Way collected 257,864 supplies for distribution to local residents.
These numbers represent a striking increase over the previous year. 2017 saw nearly triple the number of supplies collected and 74 percent more volunteers than in 2016.
United Way of Summit County announced its four Bold Goals for 2025 earlier this year. From third-grade reading scores to graduation rates to emergency room visits due to drug overdoses, United Way has identified a number of key community measures and is working to improve them by 2025. United Way’s volunteer events – such as the Page it Forward book drive, which more than doubled its volunteer numbers from 2016 to 2017 – are designed to bring attention to and address the pressing community issues targeted by the Bold Goals.
United Way’s 2017 engagement events included:
• the Page it Forward book drive, which collected age-appropriate books for Akron Public Schools students,
• two Read to Me Days in Akron and Barberton public schools, in which volunteers read books aloud to elementary school kids,
• the Smart Start Baby Shower, which collected baby supplies for local new and expecting moms,
• United Way’s Day of Action, which brought together hundreds of volunteers to participate in service projects throughout Summit County,
• the Stuff the Bus school supplies drive, which collected classroom supplies for distribution to Akron Public School students
• and the Holiday Snack Packs food drive, which gave Akron Public School kids healthy snacks to enjoy over their holiday break.
Most of these opportunities are scheduled to return as part of United Way’s engagement calendar for 2018.
The rapid growth in United Way’s volunteer numbers underscores the organization’s commitment to its Bold Goals. Just as importantly, it demonstrates the commitment of the Greater Akron community to improving the quality of life for local children and families.
“The wellbeing our community depends on all of its members – corporate and civic leaders, businesses and individual citizens – working together to build a better, more prosperous future for everyone,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit County. “At United Way, we have always believed Greater Akron has the passion and dedication to make this happen, and the volunteer numbers we’ve seen this year prove it.”
For more information on United Way’s volunteer opportunities, or to view United Way’s year-round engagement calendar for 2018, visit uwsummit.org/volunteer.