United Way breaks ground on $175,000 project.

United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region broke ground today on a large scale renovation project in the basement of their main office, the historic Evelyn Samuels Memorial Building in Poughkeepsie. The space is primarily used for the organization’s gift-in-kind program, Day of Sharing, and houses the newly developed Louis Greenspan Children’s Corner. The work will be completed by locally owned RL Baxter Building Corp, a family owned and run construction and development company. 

“We are thrilled to have broken ground on this project today and are so pleased to be able to partner with Baxter. The work we are doing will improve the air quality and open up the space to make our gift-in-kind program more efficient. This will ultimately help us increase the number of children and families we can serve each year," explained Jeannie Montano, United Way’s President and CEO. 

The Day of Sharing and Louis Greenspan Children’s Corner serve 8,000 families annually by providing new essential items such as diapers, sneakers, coats, undergarments, hygiene essentials, kitchenware, bedding, school supplies and more. Over the past year, United Way has worked with more than 100 local nonprofits and stored product worth close to $200,000 in this space. Renovations are expected to improve air quality, lighting, and offer a larger area for stocked goods. With these upgrades, United Way’s goal is to increase the number of families helped next year to 10,000. Baxter Built expects to have the project completed this spring.  

"The Baxter team is proud to be a partner on this project. Being the mother of two children and watching what United Way has done for our community, by supporting children and many families in need, is something I find special. Internal efforts, coupled with an in-kind donation from Baxter and a grant secured by United Way is what has made this project viable,” said Amanda Baxter, President of RL Baxter Building Corp.

Initial top supporters of the Louis Greenspan Children’s Corner program include the Dyson Foundation, Senator Sue Serino, John O’Shea, Susan and Steve Howell, and the Louis Greenspan Charitable Trust, with additional in-kind support from The Children’s Medical Group. The program has drawn many individual and corporate donors and continues to grow each year.

The Dyson Foundation provided a generous grant to help keep the project going. "Basic clothing and hygiene items are absolutely essential to a child's well-being. Unfortunately the cost of those items can quickly add up for a family. We are happy to support United Way's Children's Corner to get those essential items to families who need them," explained Cecilia Stancell, Dyson Foundation’s Director of Programs. 

This project would not be possible without the support of Senator Serino and her help in administering the grant to United Way through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY).

Senator Sue Serino said, "I am incredibly proud to have been able to secure funding to help support a project that will empower this great organization to help even more children and families. I was a single mom for a portion of my life and I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. This addition will help ease the burden on families, get clothing, shoes, and diapers directly to moms and children in need here in our local community. Thank you to United Way for all of the work they do for our community and congratulations on this amazing groundbreaking!”

“We are so excited to begin renovations. We are grateful for the support of our donors who believed in the mission of the Children’s Corner and supported establishing such a program,” explained Rachel Johnson, Vice President of Resource Development, “We hope to raise another $25,000 on finishing touches and to re-stock the shelves.” 

Those interested in supporting the Children’s Corner should contact Rachel Johnson at rjohnson@uwdor.orgor (845) 471-1900 ext 3118.