Nine Dutchess and Orange nonprofit organizations were recipients of 1,400 books collected by Young Leaders United, an initiative of United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region in a book drive to aid the local agencies that didn't have enough books for children in their programs.
The YLU members enlisted six organizations including Riverside Bank’s Poughkeepsie office, F.D. Roosevelt High School, East Fishkill Town Hall, Precision Pipeline Solutions in New Windsor, Inspire in Goshen, and Abilities First in Poughkeepsie plus the United Way offices in Poughkeepsie and Montgomery as drop off sites for the drive that began on Make a Difference Day in October. The group hoped to collect several hundred books in the drive but the books kept coming in to the locations past the deadline and far surpassing their original goal.
Final distribution of the books took place Jan. 18 during a in a “free book fair” at the Poughkeepsie United Way office. Recipient agencies were: Dutchess Outreach, Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, Poughkeepsie Housing Authority, Catholic Charities Community Services, and Grace Smith House, all of Poughkeepsie; Childcare Council of Orange County, Goshen; Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center, and Youth Advocate Programs, both of Newburgh; and, Astor Services for Children & Families, Rhinebeck.
During the fair representatives from twelve Dutchess and Orange nonprofits were also able to collect household items totaling $2,734 donated by Bed, Bath & Beyond’s Town of Newburgh store.
The collection of books from the community with the help of companies and organizations in Dutchess and Orange Counties and the donation from Bed, Bath & Beyond is part of United Way’s effort to engage individuals, businesses, government agencies and educational institutions to come together to find solutions to the needs of our community. It’s part of the Campaign for the Common Good launched in September.
Young Leaders United is open to individuals between 18 and 40 years old who live or work in Dutchess and Orange counties. Its mission is to support the work of United Way and foster a spirit of community involvement among the next generation of area leaders.