edarrow's blog

Volunteer Spotlight: LuAnn Toth

When Born Again Disciples and the Hudson Valley Community Center recently merged, their facilities were in great need of some updating for their children’s summer programs. To help with this worthy cause, eleven volunteers, including LuAnn Toth and her husband Steven, came together to landscape, weed the gardens, and paint the building as part of a Day of Action.

Back-to-School Backpack Drive Update

Donations for United Way's Back-to-School Backpack Drive are being dropped off daily at our office's in Poughkeepsie and Montgomery. We are delighted to see the boxes for each category fill up as we sort and inventory all the materials that our community is generously sharing to make sure kindergartner's-in-need will have the school supplies they require, before the start of classes. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Nubian Directions creates Community Free Libraries for Poughkeepsie

Nubian Directions YouthBuild/Americorps Program Coordinator Mario Johnson and his great New Directions YouthBuild AmeriCorp team came up with the idea of repurposing former newspaper box stands into Community Free Libraries a few months ago. On Friday, the team began to install them at various locations in Poughkeepsie.


A few weeks ago the reality of gun violence was made apparent to us at United Way in an all too graphic fashion. At a little after 5pm when people began to leave the office we heard what could have been a backfire or early fireworks, but instead was gunfire.

Volunteer Spotlight: Natalie Gutierrez

Natalie is a freshman at Marist College with a double major in Criminal Justice and Spanish. She is from California, but enjoys being on the East Coast and lending a hand around the Poughkeepsie community. An active member of Campus Ministry, Natalie participates in various community service projects and even drives the students in the Campus Ministry van to their volunteer locations.

Volunteer Spotlight: Kathleen O'Keefe

Kathleen O’Keefe is the Associate Director of the Mount Saint Mary College Career Center, and has been volunteering with United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region for several years. In addition to various volunteer activities, Kathleen serves on United Way’s Education Council. This April, Kathleen and her colleagues teamed up to celebrate National Volunteer Week by donating her time to Dress For Success at the Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County.