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United Way’s Helping Kids Thrive Drive Helps At-Risk Students

United Way’s Helping Kids Thrive Drive Helps At-Risk Students

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Wilkes-Barre, Pa. – August 1, 2022– United Way of Wyoming Valley held a drive to help at-risk children meet their basic hygiene and school supply needs. Local businesses and community supporters arrived to drop off donations at United Way on July 29.

“We are incredibly grateful for these donations,” said Bill Jones, President and CEO of United Way of Wyoming Valley. “By meeting children’s basic needs, we are improving their well-being and self-esteem. These insecurities are very real and can make it extremely difficult for students to focus on their studies and remain in school. Through our partnerships with schools, these items will go to the most vulnerable students in our community and will make a difference in their daily lives.”

United Way of Wyoming Valley has been actively engaged in addressing the needs of school-aged students to support school attendance and encourage early-grade success. Jones said that the Helping Kids Thrive Drive is in its second year and the in-kind donations will help stock 21 Nurse's Pantries at seven local school districts funded by the United Way. The Nurse’s Pantry is an in-school resource for at-risk students that provides health and hygiene items at no cost to children in need.

“The United Way has helped our students tremendously,” said Margo Serafini, Principal of Kistler Elementary School. “All students should have access to basic necessities. Often, students who do not have access to health and hygiene items or school supplies are embarrassed to go to school. Being able to meet these needs gives students the confidence to come to school and succeed.”

Photo Caption:Representatives from Navient in Wilkes-Barre drop off hygiene items and school supplies to support United Way of Wyoming Valley’s Helping Kids Thrive Drive. Pictured are, from left, Heather Anderson, Executive Assistant, Navient; Yvette Magistro, Director of Resource Development, United Way of Wyoming Valley; Tracy Stine, Senior Director, Navient; Katie Noone, Director, Navient and Bill Jones, President and CEO, United Way of Wyoming Valley. 

Photo Caption:Ann Blaskiewicz, Community Relations Manager North for UGI Utilities, Inc., hands Helping Kids Thrive Drive donations to United Way of Wyoming Valley volunteer Paul Hildebrand.

About United Way of Wyoming ValleyWith a 100-year legacy of driving change, United Way of Wyoming Valley leads initiatives to address childhood poverty and improve the odds of success for at-risk children and families. Partnering with local nonprofit organizations and school districts, the United Way provides access to resources and programs that meet the education and health needs of children and financial stability of families throughout the Wyoming Valley, while maintaining safety net support for the community’s most vulnerable. For more information about United Way of Wyoming Valley, visit

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