We believe that the time has come to create a new United Way - one that pulls from the rich legacy of each organization, and is well-positioned to continue the United Way's leadership role as a catalyst in the community - mobilizing the caring power of communities and making a difference in people's lives.
During our 11-month process, both the potential gains and the potential losses inherent in working as one United Way have been thoroughly discussed, and we have engaged the community at strategic points throughout. Time and again, we heard that valley residents are confused about which United Way serves them, what options they have for donating, and where the official line is drawn in those organizations with a presence in both places.
We believe that our community will best be served by the creation of a new United Way organization rather than either existing United Way taking over the other.
We believe that our strength as one United Way would by far exceed that of two organizations working separately.
We believe that income, education, and health are the cornerstones of a healthy, vibrant community, and that initiatives focused on those key areas will create a more relevant United Way.
We believe that a new United Way will be a more effective catalyst for positive change in our community.
We believe that a new United Way can serve as a model for the power of cooperation.
We believe that a new United Way is uniquely positioned to serve as the convener of diverse ideas, groups and individuals to solve community issues.
Our governing boards have approved the recommendation to dissolve the existing organizations and create a new, valley-wide United Way. The United Way of Trumbull County's trustees' vote passed by 6 votes, or 59 percent, while the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley's vote passed by 35 votes, or 92 percent. Only a simple majority was needed, according to each organization's by-laws, to approve the merger.
On Thursday, contributors to the United Way of Trumbull County will be asked to vote on the dissolution of the corporation to clear the way for the formation of the new United Way. We believe that our contributors will consider what's best for the Valley, and cast their votes in favor of the creation of a new United Way.
Trumbull County United Way
Mahoning County United Way
(This letter also was signed by seven other ''Vision for the Valley Team Members'')