United Way’s Emerging Leaders United Raises $9,486 in Hygiene Items

November 12, 2020 - Utica NY –  

For the third year United Way of the Mohawk Valley’s Emerging Leaders United (United Way ELU) partnered with area businesses hosting its annual drive for hygiene items. This year 35 local businesses, their employees, and customers took part in collecting 5,237 hygiene products equaling $9,496 in donated items! 

“This Hygiene Drive is an invaluable opportunity for members of Emerging Leaders United to advocate for United Way of the Mohawk Valley,” said Melinda Green, United Way MV ELU Connect Committee Chair. “With this drive we connect the needs of non-profit organizations with the desire of generous local business owners, their employees, and customers to make an impact. Our hygiene drive is a great example of how one small ask, to collect hygiene items, can lead to 35 local businesses helping our community and supporting those in need.” 

Among the items collected were deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, cleaning products, diapers, baby wipes, laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, and feminine hygiene products. Collecting the most items for one business were Zalatan Dental Modern Dentist with 923 items, and First Source Federal Credit Union with 514 items. 

"Our entire team and patient family are honored to have been able to contribute to our community alongside the United Way,” said Dr. Salina Suy, Partner Dentist at Zalatan Dental Modern Dentist. “2020 has been tough year for everyone and in these unprecedented times we feel our community needs support more than ever." 

“First Source is proud to get involved in drives like United Way’s Hygiene Drive, helping those in our community who truly need it,” said Pamela Way, Community Relations Specialist at First Source Federal Credit Union. “Federal assistance programs like SNAP do not allow individuals to purchase any hygiene items, so people that are on a limited income may have a hard time getting those things. Just simple items such as toothpaste, toilet paper, feminine products, and soap, are really important items.” 

The hygiene items, plus 5,000 cotton masks donated by New York Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, were distributed to six local nonprofits assisting those in need. For one agency the items could not have come at a better time as they had completely run out of diapers. Another agency has witnessed an uptick in individuals utilizing their services meaning more supplies are needed than ever before.  

“Our Runaway and Homeless Youth Program has seen a tremendous increase in the number of older homeless youth, between the ages of 18-20, since the beginning of October,” said Rachael Case of Catholic Charities of Herkimer County. “United Way ELU’s hygiene drive items allow us to provide these youth with items which helps them look and feel their best as they prepare for job interviews or on-site educational programs.” 

United Way ELU is a membership affinity group within United Way for individuals between 21-40 years of age donating $100 or more to United Way MV. ELU Members receive exclusive benefits and opportunities, such as meet-ups and discounts on United Way ELU events. More details about being a member or taking a leadership volunteer role and joining a United Way ELU committee can be found at www.unitedwaymv.org/elu.  

Participating businesses included: Adirondack Chiropractic, AmeriCU’s Rome branch, Baird, BME (Business Machines Equipment), Crown Coordination by Courtney, DBJ Wealth Management, Delta Hotel, First Choice Staffing, First Source Federal Credit Union, The Fortus Group, Frankfort-Schuyler School District, Herkimer BOCES Student Council, Hospice and Palliative Care, Human Technologies Corp, Jay-K Lumber, Lowes, Luna's on Varick, M&T Bank, Mohawk Valley Wellness, MVHS, NBT Bank, Nelson Associates Architectural Engineering, NY Sash, Paradigm Consulting, PJ Green, Ramboll, Reaves Dentistry, Retro Fitness, Site-Seeker, Slavin, Jackson, & Burns Dental Office, Utica First Insurance Company, Visions Hotel, Whitcraft, Whitesboro Class of 2010, and Zalatan Dental Modern Dentist.