United Way to start campaign with telethon

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The United Way of Aroostook will kick off their annual campaign this year with a Sept. 16 telethon on local television.

United Way of Aroostook has been working since 1957 to bring people together to help the community reach its full potential.  They partner with local nonprofits, businesses, government departments and social service agencies to address the community’s most pressing needs.  

“No other organization has the scope and expertise to unite and mobilize hundreds of human service agencies, businesses, government agencies, volunteers, and foundations around a common vision for the common good of Aroostook County,” Executive Director Sarah Ennis said.

UWA serves all the communities in Aroostook County and has been able to reach one in every two people living here.  All the money they raise stays here, serving over 20 agencies and programs to provide a better quality of life for people experiencing challenges and hardships. 

 Ennis said the United Way continually works with their community partners, volunteers, donors, agencies and other stakeholders to determine the most pressing needs in Aroostook County so that they can make measurable changes by putting their funding, volunteer time, and other resources toward causes where they will have the greatest impact. 

 Due to COVID-19 UWA had to cancel many of their fundraising events.  They did create a COVID-19 Emergency Fund that put over $140,000 back into the community over the past year and a half to create and support programs that needed extra funding due to the pandemic.  The pandemic, however, made it difficult to raise their own money to support the agencies and programs that receive yearly funding as funded partners.  

“We are thrilled WAGM has stepped up with this telethon for the United Way of Aroostook,” said UWA Board President Jon Gulliver. “The pandemic has hampered our traditional fundraising efforts and that in turn hurts the organizations the UWA supports.”

 Community members will have the opportunity to help support UWA and the work they do on Sept. 16. The telethon will be broadcast on WAGM throughout the day and phone lines will be available from 5:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Donations can be made in advance and sent to United Way of Aroostook at 830 Main Street in Presque Isle.  

Through these contributions you can make sure help is there for your friends, family and neighbors and it assures that a broad range of services will be available to help local people become independent and self-sufficient,” Ennis said.

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