United Way boosts not-for-profits in Broome

By Erika Mahoney

September 13, 2013 Updated Sep 13, 2013 at 11:57 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The United Way of Broome County had two reasons for celebrating Friday: The end of a community outreach program and the beginning of their major annual fundraiser.

The organization brought volunteers together to say thanks for their annual "Day of Caring."

Nearly 800 people rolled up their sleeves to help out local not-for-profit organizations this year, from reading to children to sprucing up local gardens.

The Binghamton University basketball team helped power wash the outside of the Salvation Army.

Player Jabrille Williams said United Way can count on him for next year.

"We just all have to do out part to help out as a community and come together," Williams said. "Binghamton is a family and it's the little things that help."

While the campaign is called the "Day of Caring," it could soon be called the "Week of Caring."

"This year we did something a little different because we had events over the course of the week as opposed to just on one day," United Way of Broome County Executive Director Alan Hertel said.

As everyone celebrated a week of hard work, they also celebrated the start of fundraising.

United Way and its partners help support more than 45 organizations throughout Broome County by focusing on education, income and health.

One of the organizations they support is Family Planning of South Central New York.

The director of development came out Friday night to show her gratitude.

"We fall under the United Way health category," said Mary Robinson, Family Planning of South Central New York director of development. "We provide comprehensive reproductive health services to women and men in the community. We treat every patient that needs to be treated, regardless of whether they can pay or not.  And the United Way allows us to do that."

The fundraising campaign continues through December.

'"A lot of businesses run workplace campaigns, and they do pay roll deductions for employees," said Hertel. "Individuals will write a check, they can go to our website, unitedway.broome.org (click here for more information or to donate), or uwbroome.org and they can donate online. They can come to our office."

The goal is to raise $3.25 million, all in the effort to boost organizations that give back year-round.