Annual Report to Recap: Shaping a Brighter Future Together

December 14, 2023

Yesterday marked a special occasion as we gathered for our Annual Report to the Community event. The day was filled with inspiration, gratitude, and a celebration of the impactful strides we’ve made together in the past year. 

In summary, the Annual Report to the Community was a resounding success, showcasing the collective strength, resilience, and shared purpose that define Pocono Mountains United Way. The journey continues, and we look forward to the continued success of our united community. 

Happy Holidays and Live United!

> Click here to view the Report to Community Program from yesterday

> Click here to view the detailed 2022-2023 Annual Report

Here’s a recap of the highlights:

Welcome and Opening Remarks – Chris Barrett, Chair of Board of Directors for PMUW:

Chris Barrett, Chair of the Board of Directors, extended warm greetings, reflecting on the extraordinary year. He expressed gratitude for the collective efforts that have touched countless lives, making a tangible impact on our community’s well-being.

Chris acknowledged the unwavering support of our community, emphasizing that none of our achievements would have been possible without volunteerism, advocacy, and financial contributions from individuals, families, and organizations.

Community Impact – Alessandra Restrepo, Director of Resource Development PMUW:

Alessandra Restrepo, Director of Resource Development, celebrated recent successes, emphasizing short-term wins and long-term solutions. Significant achievements include housing assistance, health programs, and successful partnerships, with Linda Paugh’s eviction mediation program boasting a 70% success rate.

  • Thanks to our committed team and the unwavering support of the community, we’ve achieved meaningful victories in areas such as housing assistance and financial product access, touching the lives of 7,400 individuals.
  • Recognizing Linda Paugh: Linda’s insightful contribution at the 19th Annual Homes Within Reach Conference highlighted the success of our eviction mediation program, boasting a 70% success rate in keeping families housed.
  • Our programs, including Healthy Start developmental screenings and the SMILE in-home mentoring program, have made significant strides, impacting 1,900 lives of Monroe County households. We celebrated the launch of the AmeriHealth mobile screening bus and reaching 30,000 screenings at the end of our 19th year!
  • Federal Grants and Long-Term Solutions: We’re grateful for the support of Representative Matt Cartwright, whose federal grants have deepened our impact in the community.
  • Generation Next – Long-Term Solutions: Launched last year, Generation Next supports underprivileged students, focusing on essential job skills. We’re thrilled to share early college acceptance letters to Centenary University, ESU, and Penn State.
  • Promoting Education: Over 3,500 individuals accessed services promoting education and childhood success, reflecting our commitment to nurturing the next generation through various programs.

Community Supporters:

  • Pocono Mountain School District (PMSD) Superintendent Dr. Liz Robison joined by students from Tobyhanna Elementary Center: Dr. Robison highlighted the essential role of financial support in fulfilling the mission of Pocono Mountains United Way. She commended the fundraising efforts of Tobyhanna Elementary Center students, presenting a check to support our cause. Guest speaker: Gabriela Walsh.
  • Lead Director, Community Development Aetna Better Health Kids, Angie Kritzer: Aetna Better Health Kids announced a multi-year grant of $75,000, recognizing the profound impact community support can have on shaping the lives of young individuals.
  • Senior Business Analyst for Weiler Abrasives, Laura Pastore: Laura emphasized the importance of active engagement and year-round dedication to community support beyond financial contributions. Weiler Abrasives’ employees embody this spirit through volunteerism and fundraising initiatives.
  • Director, Corporate Social Responsibility for Sanofi – Phillip St. James: Phillip announced a $250,000 check as an investment in addressing Social Determinants of Health, highlighting the transformative power of pulling together.

Future Initiatives and Closing– Michael Tukeva, President/ CEO of PMUW:

Attendees were treated to an exhilarating video showcasing Michael Tukeva’s flight with the Blue Angels. Michael then shared insights into future initiatives, including BankOn Monroe, Project Equity 2.0, and Community Schools, emphasizing the value of short-term wins and long-term solutions. He expressed gratitude for the community’s commitment and celebrated the remarkable achievements witnessed throughout the day. Attendees were encouraged to stay engaged, stay inspired, and continue transforming lives together in the coming year.

Questions? Contact Alessandra Restrepo, Director of Resource Development, at or call/text me at (570) 500-0521.