United Way’s Gift of Warmth Program Reaches Pike County

The United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike is pleased to announce a fund distribution of $10,000 to Pike County in support of The Gift of Warmth Program.

The $10,000 check, presented to Pike County officials on Thursday, February 1st, represents a targeted fund in the local community that focuses on heating assistance for households experiencing tough times.

 “We are thrilled to provide this $10,000 contribution to Pike County, furthering our commitment to building stronger, more resilient communities,” said Gary Drapek, Preside & CEO of the United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike. “This reflects our dedication to collaborating with local partners and addressing the unique challenges faced by Pike County residents. We believe in the power of collective action to create positive and lasting change and are excited to extended our resources to Pike County.”

For more information about the United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike and its Gift of Warmth Program, please visit uwlc.net or contact Barry Snyder, Vice President of Community OutReach at 570.343.1267 x237 or bsnyder@uwlc.net.

(Left to Right) Christa Caceres, Pike County Commissioner, Ronald Schmalzle, Pike County Commissioner, Matthew Osterberg, Pike County Commissioner, Gary Drapek, President & CEO of United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike, Robert Ruiz, Pike County Executive Director of Human Services, Amy Burke, Assistant Vice President, The Dime Bank (Dingman’s Ferry)/United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike Board Member, Matt Ceruti, Vice President of Resource Development/Campaign, United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike, Stephanie Everson, Pike County Housing Coordinator, Samantha Robayo, Pike County Projects Coordinator, Kayla Orben, Pike County Assistant Director of Human Services.

United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike Distributed Grants at Campaign Kickoff

The United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike is delighted to announce the distribution of $63,000 in grants to several deserving Wayne County nonprofit organizations. These grants aim to empower and strengthen our community by providing essential support for a range of initiatives that benefit our residents and improve the quality of life in Wayne County.

With the United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike’s 2023-2024 Campaign in full swing, these grants were the result of generous contributions during last year’s fundraising efforts.

The recipients of these grants were selected through an application and review process, in which a group of Wayne County volunteers evaluated applications based on their potential impact, alignment with our community’s needs, and ability to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.  The following nonprofit organizations, along with their program, have been chosen to receive funding:

The ARC of Northeastern PA: Advocacy Services

Child Hunger Outreach Partners (CHOP): CHOP in School Pantry and Backpack Programs

The Cooperage: Bright Kids

Diakon Child, Family and Community Ministries: RSVP of Berks, Pike and Wayne Counties Program

Girls on the Run – Lehigh Valley and Pocono: GOTR Wayne County Program Expansion

Habitat for Humanity: Multi-Family Home

Honesdale Communities That Care: Communities That Care – Scholarship Program

Hose Co. No. 1- Honesdale Fire Department: Can you lend us a Hand (Tools)

Lacawac Sanctuary: Youth Environmental Stewardship Institute

Maternal & Family Health: Nurse-Family Partnership Program

Salvation Army: Back-to-School Clothing Program

Second Harvest: Expanded Food Access

Victims Intervention Program: Victims Intervention Program

Wayne County Public Library: Wellness in Winter at the Wayne County Public Library

Wayne County Community Foundation: Wayne County Drug and Treatment Court Fund

Workforce Wayne: WP Shine

United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike is dedicated to fostering collaboration and innovation among local nonprofits, and these grants are just one way we work towards achieving that mission. We believe that by supporting these organizations, we can create a stronger, more resilient community for everyone.

A Campaign Kickoff event was held the night of Tuesday, September 19th at Wallenpaupack Brewing Company where the grants were distributed amongst Wayne County’s best.  The United Way formally began their campaign in Wayne and Pike County as they also welcomed Pike County under their wing of the 100+ year tradition of the United Way serving Northeastern Pennsylvania.

United Way Announces Scholarship Recipient

The United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike awarded the Mike Munchak Community Service Scholarship to Vanessa Hodges, a 2023 graduate of Forest City Regional High School. The scholarship award was officially presented as part of the 27th Annual Mike Munchak Charity Golf Classic to benefit the United Way held at the Country Club of Scranton.  The sold-out golf tournament raised over $100,000 for United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike.  Over $1,500,000 have been raised during the 27 years of this golf outing.

“For the past 27 years it has been our honor to welcome Mike back home to Scranton, and we remain grateful to him for his unwavering commitment to the people of our community,” said Gary Drapek, President and CEO of the United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike.

The United Way established the Mike Munchak Community Service Scholarship to assist high school students from Lackawanna, Wayne and Pike Counties, who plan to continue their education in an accredited university, college, or trade school in a two or

four-year degree program. The amount of the one-time scholarship is $6,300 in honor of Mike’s #63, retired by the Houston Oilers in 1994.  Completing the scholarships 12th year of existence, a total amount of $75,600 in scholarship funds have been distributed to local graduates.

To be eligible, candidates must be volunteers in programs funded by the United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne & Pike, have a demonstrated commitment through community service activities and be full-time residents and/or students of a school district within Lackawanna, Wayne or Pike Counties. Additional requirements include a demonstrated financial need, academic achievement, agency recommendation and a track record of community service.

“Education is one of our pillars here at the United Way.  This scholarship is a prime example of how important a good education along with strong community involvement is in helping ensure Lackawanna, Wayne and Pike Counties continue to Live United.  Every year we are amazed at the amount of Hall-of-Fame caliber seniors who apply for this scholarship.  The future certainly remains bright here in NEPA,” added Drapek.

The 2023 scholarship recipient is Vanessa Hodges, a Forest City Regional High School graduate who will be attending Penn State Scranton to pursue a degree in Business.

Vanessa’s community service accomplishments include the American Red Cross Blood Drive, Feed a Friend Program, Toys for Tots, Steamtown Marathon, Teresa’s Angels and her senior project supporting the Annual Forest City Softball Parents Club. Additionally, Vanessa is a member of the National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Student Council, the Yearbook Committee as well as an array of clubs and activities in which she is engaged. The Scholarship Committee noted Vanessa’s superior GPA as well as the leadership qualities she exhibited throughout her time at Forest City Regional.

“Funding essential programs throughout Lackawanna, Wayne and Pike Counties as well as running our own community outreach programs has led us into our 2nd Century of Service in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Continuously evolving each and every year has been the key to our success.  Like the mindset of a Hall-of-Fame Athlete, we set a goal every year and do everything in our power to achieve that goal, just like our homegrown football legend himself, Mike Munchak,” Drapek concluded.

UWLC to Host Agency Training Day

The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties is going to hold an “Agency Training Day” on July 19th, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. in the Jewish Community Center, on Jefferson Ave, Scranton. This will serve as an opportunity for currently funded, as well as new organizations, to come together to learn about the funding process, what is expected of them, and what is changing within this process for the 2024-2025 funding cycle.

Every organization that is planning to apply for United Way funding is encouraged to attend this Training Day.  Please RSVP to William Craven, wcraven@uwlc.net, by June 30th.

For further comment, call Will Craven, Manager, Community Impact Funds

(570) 343-1267 x226.

The UWLC Preparing to Reopen Funding Cycle

The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties is preparing to re-open their 2-year funding cycle to all qualifying 501-c3’s within Lackawanna and Wayne Counties.
To Qualify:

  • Programs/Organizations must be a 501-c3 health and human organization.
  • Must have organizational budgets of $400,000 or more.
  • Program must fall within (1) of (3) identified United Way Priority Areas:
    • Economic Mobility: stabilizing families and individuals during time of crisis and empowering them with skills and knowledge in order to build long-term financial resilience.
    • Education: providing youth and families with access to quality learning experiences that empower them to achieve personal success.
    • Health: providing families and individuals the opportunity to achieve physical and mental health by empowering them with skills development and intervention systems.

For organizations interested in applying for funding they must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to William Craven, Manager, Community Impact Funds, wcraven@uwlc.net.  If they qualify, the organization will then apply with the Request for Proposal (RFP).

United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne County Welcomes Vice President

The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties welcome Matt Ceruti of Old Forge as their Vice President of Resource Development and Campaign. 

Ceruti, comes to the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties with over a decade of development and fundraising experience. Beginning as campaign manager for the United Way of Wyoming Valley in Wilkes-Barre, he worked with local businesses and organizations to strengthen workplace and corporate giving. During his tenure at the organization he was elevated to Director of Campaign Operations, and in that role, he helped implement an online giving platform and led digital data management efforts to increase organizational efficiencies. Matt then accepted an opportunity as Director of Development at Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania with a focus on diversifying funding streams during a time of organizational transformation. Prior to his time in non-profit development, Matt spent his career in radio: on air at 98.1 WHWK in Binghamton, NY, in production role at 97.1 WBHT and as the initial mid-day personality at 93.7 WSJR both in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Other roles he’s held in the community have included account executive at the Times Leader and Keystone Automotive and healthcare administration/vendor relations at CIGNA. Matt lives with his wife Kristie and their daughter GiGi and enjoys exercising by walking around his town as well as cooking, listening to music and chauffeuring his daughter to her varied social engagements.

“We are thrilled to welcome Matt to the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties Team,” said Gary Drapek, President & CEO of United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties.


“His experience, leadership and commitment to improving lives make him the ideal person to lead our efforts to create a better future for everyone in our community,” Drapek added.

For more information, call the United Way at (570) 343-1267 x237.

Lackawanna County Grant Process Still Accepting Applications

Annually the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties supports a grant program in Lackawanna County with funds collected from individuals, corporations and employee groups made up of Lackawanna County residents during the United Way campaign.

This is the first year United Way is implementing the “Lackawanna County Community Impact Grant.”  This is a small grant that is built and targeted for grass roots organizations with limited administrative capacity.  An effort to try and serve more diverse populations residing in Lackawanna County that may experience difficulties when applying for other funding streams. Organizations can apply for funding for one program with a limit of a $10,000 request.

To Qualify:

  • An organization must have an organizational budget of less than $400,000.
  • Organizations must be a 501(c)(3) organization or partner with a United Way approved 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Organization has bylaws that state the purpose of the organization, make provisions for the size of the Board of Directors and provide rules for: selection and tenure of board members, the number of officers and committees, financial and legal procedures, and quorum requirements.
  • Organization has proof of current directors’ and officers’ liability insurance.
  • Organization maintains compliance with all applicable legal licensing requirement and maintains appropriate insurance coverage.
  • All program requests must fit within the one of the 3 priority areas of United Way which are Education, Health and Economic Mobility.

Application Guideline:

  • Receiving funds in one fiscal year does not ensure that the grant will be renewed in the following year(s). It is imperative that the organization does not count on United Way funds as a recurring funding stream.
  • In the benchmark section, be sure to state clear numbers of individuals impacted by the program. It is understood that this is a projection until the program is completed. The actual number of impacted individuals must be included in the report section at the end of the fiscal year.
  • While the Committee may fund a capital item, the preferred usage of the United Way funds is for programs that impact individuals in the community.
  • If there are any questions concerning this application process, please contact William Craven via email at wcraven@uwlc.net

This grant process is overseen by a group of volunteers that make funding decisions based on the applications that are submitted to the United Way. It is the responsibility of these dedicated volunteers on the Lackawanna County Funds Distribution Committee to ensure donations are spent in the most cost-efficient method in priority areas for the residents of Lackawanna County. All the decisions are made by local volunteers and then approved by the United Way Board of Directors. The Funds Distribution Committee members are the stewards of the community fund.

In order to receive login information, you must first contact Will Craven (wcraven@uwlc.net) to receive login credentials. Applications are now available to any organization that meets the above criteria.  Application submission deadline is September 21st.

For more information, visit, uwlc.net/lackawanna-county-grant-process