Niagara Gazette — The United Way of Greater Niagara announced a funding goal of $1.3 million for the 2012 United Way Community Care Campaign Thursday at the Niagara Falls Boys Club.
Carol Houwaart-Diez, the president of United Way of Greater Niagara, said the work the United Way and the many nonprofits that they support do in the community underscores the need for the campaign.
"People in our community of every age and from every walk of life are faced with challenges that are insurmountable," Houwaart-Diez said. "As our community and societies continue to change those challenges do not go away. It is in helping our neighbors overcome their obstacles that we can realize our vision of a stronger, healthier community."
The campaign has raised more than $1.4 million each of the past two years.
Dr. James Klyczek, president of Niagara County Community College, will be the chairman of the campaign.
"When the people of Niagara County need support and a helping hand, undoubtedly they benefit from a program, service or agency that is supported by the United Way of Greater Niagara," he said.
Houwaart-Diez also announced an additional $60,000 in grants to local nonprofits in the area.
Western New York Heroes, a nonprofit that provides support services for veterans returned from service, was given $11,000.
Chris Kreiger, the president of the organization, said that many returning veterans find it difficult to get a job because of injuries suffered during service.
"We're there to kind of bridge the gap and ease the burden for these veterans and their families so that they're not losing their homes, they're not having their utilities shut off," he said.
The funding will be used to help veterans exclusively in Niagara County, Kreiger added.
"If we can turn off our lights and close our door at the end of the day and know that we've assisted another veteran or family member and ease burden with them, then in my opinion we've done good," he said.