The United Way of Wyoming Valley held its annual Campaign Kickoff Celebration at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Thursday, September 12th. The United Way of Wyoming Valley is dedicated to fighting childhood poverty by investing in initiatives and programs that help create pathways to self-sufficiency for at-risk children and families.
This year’s event was led by community leaders Alana Roberts and Tom Makowski. They are two individuals who are extremely involved in their community, and they are strong supporters of the United Way of Wyoming Valleys mission.
The 2019 Campaign Kickoff featured Kenton Lee, founder of Because International and the creator of “The Shoe That Grows.” Kenton spent some time at an orphanage in Kenya, and he noticed the children’s progress was slowed down and restricted, because the facility couldn’t afford proper shoes for children’s feet as they grew bigger. He came up with an idea for a shoe that could grow in size as the children grew. He actually turned that idea into a reality, and helped develop a shoe that can grow five sizes and last for years! Today they have more than 250,000 pairs of “The Shoe That Grows’ on the feet of children, in one hundred countries! At this event, Kenton shared his experiences and stories about those who live in extreme poverty in Kenya.
Sundance Vacations acted as a Lead Sponsor for the event!
Sundance Vacations was a proud “Building the Movement” sponsor of the United Way of Wyoming Valleys 2019 Campaign Kick-Off to help raise funds for the organization’s Poverty to Possibility program. Employees who went to the even enjoyed the night out. Karen Munoz said “It was a great gathering to cheer for those who support this great community that we live in.”
The United Way’s Poverty to Possibility program focuses on three special core values: Education, Financial Stability and Health. The United Way pays special attention to these core values because they are undeniably important. They invest in special programs to give children and individuals the skills they need to succeed in education, and employment opportunities, as well as giving them the tools needed to gain quality learning and developmental skills.
Believe it or not, there are more than 11,500 kids under the age of 18 in the Wyoming Valley who are currently living in poverty. 33% of that number are children under the age of five! The poverty rate in our area has nearly doubled in the past nineteen years. Kids who live in poverty are generally less healthy than those who are not, and kids who grow up in poverty are more likely to continue doing so, leading to them being poor parents in the future. People in our area might not know about the poverty rates, and that’s why the United way is so important. Without them, these children would not receive the help they so desperately need to succeed in the early years of their lives.
To learn more about the United Way of Wyoming Valley and their programs for children, check out their page on our Charities site.
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Krystal is a mother of one son and her family is everything to her. She gets bored easily and likes to keep herself busy one way or another. When she’s not spending time at home, you can find her in search of an adventure outdoors. A few of her interests include: Camping, cooking, crafting and writing new ideas on paper and turning them into a reality.