Williamsport – Knowing that in difficult times it is essential to #LIVEUNITED, 14 regional United Ways from Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania are partnering with Eyewitness News WBRE/WYOU for a collaborative fundraising campaign.
“United Way Cares” is an effort to help community partners help individuals and families in need of services during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The local United Ways operate in 17 counties served by the local NBC/CBS affiliate stations, and include the Lycoming County United Way which serves, Lycoming, Sullivan, and Tioga Counties.
The on-air and online campaign will reach hundreds of thousands of residents.
“We have seen the pain and challenges being faced by communities across the Commonwealth by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Ron Frick, President of the Lycoming County United Way. “We were already involved collaborating with our friends at the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way and the United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties and the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania in a central Pennsylvania response, so it was only natural to broaden the effort. Eyewitness News and Nexstar Broadcasting have a history of working in communities and we are grateful for their commitment of time, personnel and assets.”
“I have been so impressed by how all of our regional United Ways and local partners have come together during these difficult times to lift up our community,” added Adrienne Mael, CEO/President of the United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties. “We are seeing so much need, from nonprofits to community members, and this fundraiser is an opportunity for our region to rise up and meet some of these critical needs. Together with our partners and donors we can make an impact and LIVE UNITED.”
The 14 organizations involved in this historic project include the Lycoming County United Way, Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way, United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties, Clinton County United Way, United Way of Bradford County, United Way of Greater Hazleton, Berwick Area United Way, United Way of Wyoming County, United Way of Susquehanna County, United Way Wyoming Valley, Schuylkill United Way, Pocono Mountains United Way, United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, and the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (Carbon County).
Rather than a traditional telethon, and in an effort to maintain social distancing guidelines, Eyewitness News WBRE/WYOU will produce a series of public service announcements (PSAs) which will run during prime viewing hours on both stations along with regular live and recorded segments during PA Live, as well as feature spots during regular new programming.
All media will also be run online and shared on social media. WBRE/WYOU released the first promotional videos during the One World: At Home Together program which aired on April 18.
“While our fight to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may be the story of a lifetime, it is also the story of our home, the community of Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania,” said Steve Daniloff, Vice President/General Manager of WBRE-TV/WYOU-TV. “It’s going to take all of us working together to get back on our feet, especially when it comes to those who are hardest hit by the crisis. Partnering with United Ways from the 17 counties which we serve is a natural way to make sure we help people from every community in our viewing area.”
The PSAs and news segments produced by Eyewitness News WBRE/WYOU and featured on both stations and their website, PaHomepage.com, will drive viewers to a secure online giving portal, where donors can select their local United Way, by clicking to support people in need in their own community.
The link to donate is: https://unitedtoact.org/lcuw/covid-19. All funds raised from the campaign will be used to address local needs created by the crisis and there will be no administrative fees assessed.
If donors prefer to write a check, mailing information will be available on each local landing page. Donors in Lycoming, Sullivan, or Tioga Counties can make checks payable to “Lycoming County United Way” and mail to 1 W. 3rd St., Suite 208, Williamsport, PA 17701.
Funds raised in each county will be directed to efforts in those counties. Media coverage and the campaign will last for approximately four weeks. Frick said, “We are so grateful for our community partners and others in our communities who are on the front lines taking care of those most vulnerable. Our hearts are broken by the impact COVID-19 is having on so many and so we will do whatever it takes to raise funds so our United Way can be there today and when the next crisis rocks are community.”