Skip to main content

United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes

United Way teams up with Muckdogs for community baby shower at Dwyer Stadium

By Press Release

Press Release:

United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes is partnering with the Batavia Muckdogs baseball team to promote United Way’s 2024 Community Impact Service Day: Community Baby Shower. 

The baby shower drive will take place at Dwyer Stadium throughout the Muckdogs season from June until August. Attendees can drop off needed baby items in the United Way bin at Dwyer Stadium. 

Items needed include, but are not limited to:

  • Diapers (preemie to size 7)
  • Baby sleep sacks
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby Board Books
  • Digital Thermometers  

In addition to the items listed above, all donations of new baby items are gratefully accepted.

To learn about additional ways you can help support the baby shower, visit Contact with any questions. 

Applications open for UW Leadership Development Programs Class of 2024

By Press Release

Press Release:

Applications are now being accepted for the 2024 class year of United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes’ Leadership Development Programs. The following programs are accepting applications: Latino Leadership Program, African American Leadership Program, Emerging Leaders Program, and Pride Leadership Program. The application deadline is May 31.

United Way’s Leadership Development Programs champion the advancement of African Americans, Latinos, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and emerging professionals in board and leadership positions across the region. Each participant is encouraged to enrich their personal and professional leadership skills, learn the principles of boards of directors, gain an understanding of community opportunities and challenges, foster genuine communities of belonging and inclusivity, and broaden connections through networking.

“If you thrive on engaging, learning, and networking with diverse and like-minded individuals driven to enhance organizations and impact communities, I encourage you to explore United Way's distinctive leadership programs. Upon completion, you'll join over 2,000 program alumni who are paving the way for meaningful change," states Dr. Sheila Strong, director of leadership development and equity.

The Leadership Development Programs will commence this fall, and spaces in each cohort are limited. Reserve your seat now. The tuition fee is $600, and scholarship assistance may be accessible for individuals demonstrating financial need. 

For further information and to apply, visit Please direct any inquiries to

Le Roy resident says new community relationship role is opportunity to 'give back,' fill needs

By Joanne Beck


Lindsey Dailey

While growing up in Batavia, Lindsey Dailey came to learn just how important a school community could be for a child, she says.

Her mom, Debbie, had been sick and battling cancer on and off throughout her daughter’s early years, dying when Lindsey was 21. 

“So, throughout my young, adolescent years, it really was my school, and my community, that was there to support me and my family. And so growing up I always wanted to give back, that's the type of person my mom was. And what she instilled in me is giving back, just giving back. And I feel like, through my struggles growing up through having a sick mom and trying to navigate life, I really wanted to grow up and give back to the community that once served me, and I felt safe and protected by and supported by." 

Dailey, a 2009 Batavia High School graduate, said that she feels as though she’s been coming full circle with her career, which has now taken her to the position of community relationship manager at United Way of Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes. Having worked at Le Roy Central School and then Batavia City School District, she is now working with districts in a six-county area.

The 33-year-old began her professional journey at Le Roy Central School, ending up as district social worker and working primarily with students in grades seven through 12. One of her give-back gestures while there was to create the Knights Closet based on a poverty simulation experiment, which is still alive and thriving, she said.

“I collected clothing, hygiene, and school supplies from staff members and community members. It once started out on the stage of the auditorium, that was our first initial push during our Thanksgiving drive. And from there, it grew,” she said. “I mean, there were so many students that utilized the closet and utilized that initial drive, that I went to the school principal at the time, Tim McArdle, and he was all in to support this initiative and supported me in that, and it grew,  and now has its own classroom in the high school.” 

What were some takeaways from that experiment and resulting real-life closet that helped Le Roy families?

“I guess the feeling of needing, our basic needs are so important for students to have, and having that feeling of panic during the simulation of — my parents lost their job, how are we going to pay our bills — and again, my goal has always been to help support students get their basic needs met,” she said. “I really have always kind of considered myself a bridge between home, school and community. And because of that, I wanted to find what the gaps were, where I could support and help these students reach their full potential by setting them up for success, if there was anything that I could do to support the students or the families to remove some barriers, that was really my goal, or my mission.

“And from there, I transitioned over to Batavia City School District, the school that once helped and supported me, which was really an exciting time for me," she said. "And I was initially hired on as the My Brother's Keeper program director.”

Much of her work was with the Men of Purpose, a program for young men of color. Her objectives were to develop activities and educational programs to drive improve early learning measures and increased retention.

She arranged for men of color in the community to serve as mentors for these students and help support them while they worked on “pursuing goals and overcoming obstacles and how to manage different experiences in their lives,” she said. 

And now she’s in this new role yet still focusing on schools and the needs of their diverse populations. 

“United Way is trying to show up differently to schools. We'll be working with all school districts within our six-county footprint. And really, on one end, I'll be working on resource development, which is helping raise the funds through campaign, but then also being able to work on the community impact side to develop those meaningful relationships and implement new initiatives and strategies for United Way to show up differently within the schools,” she said. “So I'm really excited for that. I think, again, my lens has always been through community, this Community Schools Initiative, and it's going to look different, but I'm still essentially going to be able to help students and families in a different lens in a different way.” 

She’s been on the job for eight weeks, and plans to be part of future collections and donations, such as recent hygiene kits, solar glasses given to Batavia Middle School students, and other needs that she encounters that she can help to fulfill, she said. Dailey was part of a trauma support team that assisted with support after a recent crisis, which illustrates the diverse ways in which she may step in to provide assistance, she said.

“I'm beyond grateful for this opportunity to be a part of the United Way team,” Dailey said. “I truly value connections and strive to help individuals reach their full potential by providing them with opportunities to be successful. I feel my new role at United Way will provide me with opportunities to continue to connect with people and make a positive impact in our mission to mobilize the goodwill and resources of our community so everyone can thrive.”

Dailey has a Bachelor of Science-Social Work from Buffalo State College and a Master of Social Work from the University at Buffalo. She lives in Le Roy with her husband Colin and their two daughters, Everleigh, 6, and 3-year-old Elsie. 

In addition to wanting to give back and honor her mom’s memory — “I think being a mom and showing up and being there for my kids, and how close I was to my mom, is really important to me,” she said — Dailey enjoys spending time with her family.

“We are excited to have Lindsey join our team expanding our depth of community support,” said Kari Buch, regional director at United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes. “With her background as a school social worker, she will focus on relationships between school districts and community-based organizations fostering connections and strengthening ties to improve resources for individuals and families across our region.”

If a school district in one of the six counties of Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Wayne, Monroe or Wyoming has a need, you can contact her at or 585-242-6579.

Volunteers needed individually or in teams to help agencies on United Way Day of Caring

By Press Release

Press Release:

United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes is hosting its annual Day of Caring on May 23. 

Day of Caring is the largest single day of volunteering in the region. Six counties, including Genesee, Ontario, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, and Wyoming, will mobilize over 6,000 volunteers on May 23. 

The dedicated committee of volunteers in Genesee County has helped to match agencies with volunteers for 15 years! Hundreds of volunteers in Genesee County will work together to meet the needs of dozens of local agencies and non-profits. 

By participating in these engaging, hands-on projects, volunteers help create a brighter future for local communities and help those in need.  

There are still volunteer spots available and agencies to support in Genesee County. Sign up as an individual or as a team with friends, family, or colleagues using the contact information below for a fun-filled day of giving back to the community.  

United Way announces community impact multi-year program grants

By Press Release

Press Release:

United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes announces approximately $6 million in Community Impact Multi-Year Program Grant opportunities powered through the Community Impact Fund.

These investments support impact-driven multi-year community programs that engage one or several impact areas: youth opportunity, healthy community, financial security, and community resiliency.  


Agencies within United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes’ six-county region - Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.

An agency has had an exemption from Federal Income Tax under Section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code since January 1, 2023.

Agencies that operate the same program in multiple counties should apply under one program application. Please do not submit multiple applications for the same program functioning across multiple counties.


Agencies will have the option of selecting multi-year funding for 2 years, 3 years, or 5 years, with an understanding that 5-year program grants can re-apply for only a 2-year grant. Additional funding opportunities are also available.


Information sessions will be hosted to gain insight into the grant application and the process.

Find an information session today.  


Nonprofit agencies looking to connect with United Way’s nonprofit resources, including multi-year grants, are encouraged to visit or contact the United Way’s Community Impact office directly at  


Applications are due on April 1 no later than 5 p.m.

Apply today at

United Way launches 'Imagine What's Possible' as 106th annual campaign

By Press Release
UW kick-off watch party at Batavia Downs
Chief Impact Officer Dr. Ashley Campbell speaks to attendees of Wednesday morning's United Way Batavia Regional Kickoff Watch Party at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel on Park Road in Batavia.
Submitted Photo

Press Release:

On Wednesday morning, United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes announced the launch of its 106th Annual Campaign, Imagine What’s Possible. The organization also announced that Miguel Velázquez, CEO of Regional Transit Service (RTS), would take on the role of the 2024 Campaign Chair.   

Jim Reed, the 2023 Campaign Chair and CEO of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, announced that the 2023 Better United campaign raised $18 million combined with additional United Way grants and initiatives for a grand total of $33.7 million for the community.  

 “It was an honor for me to be the 2023 Campaign Chair and represent both Excellus BCBS and United Way in this role,” said Jim Reed. “Our mission aligns with United Way to help people in our communities live healthier more secure lives. I’m proud to say that through this support, more than 180 community based non-profit organizations will be able to continue their vital programs and services to help meet the needs of our communities. I’m excited for the 2024 Campaign and to see the continued impact United Way and other community partnerships make in our region.” 

The 2024 United Way Campaign will focus on imagining the possible impact when we open our minds to possibilities. Together, we can bridge the gap between what we imagine and what we impact for a better tomorrow. 

“Imagine what’s possible if all of us in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region use our collective strength to lift the entire community,” said Miguel Velázquez. “In our region, there is a lot of need and a lot of complex challenges. At RTS, we are thrilled to partner with United Way. We have a common vision of making our communities thrive and promoting a better quality of life.” 

Community members are encouraged to donate during their workplace campaign or online at Organizations can host a United Way campaign by emailing

 There are many ways to give to our community with United Way, including year-round volunteer opportunities. Learn more at  

 For more information about United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes, visit  

United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes kicks off 2022 campaign

By Mike Pettinella

United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes kicked off its 2022 campaign this afternoon with a presentation on YouTube that featured reports from its six-counties, including a message from Tammy Hathaway, director of United Way of Genesee County.

The organization expanded during the summer to encompass Genesee, Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming, Wayne and Ontario counties, and now solicits donations on behalf of 190 human service providers.

Speaking from the YWCA in Batavia, Hathaway, who also serves as the United Way’s senior resource development manager, credited Genesee County residents for stepping up to the plate in a big way over the years.

“I’m always amazed by the dedication of our donors and volunteers here in Genesee County,” she said.

She introduced Amber Lingenfelter, United Way community resource & volunteer engagement manager, who spoke about the Volunteer United program.

“Volunteer United is an online matching platform that allows you to filter through various volunteer opportunities based on your interest, passion, skills and availability,” she said. “You can also sort by in-person opportunities or virtual opportunities near you.”

For more information, go to

This year’s campaign, “Make Way For Good,” is being chaired by Frank Hamlin III, president and chief executive officer of Canandaigua National Bank & Trust.

Hamlin announced that his company will match all new and increased donations this year up to $500,000 as he and his volunteer team seek to raise $32 million again in 2022.

The 2021 campaign, led by William Goodrich, chief executive officer of LeChase Construction Services, raised and leveraged $32.1 million, broken down as follows:

  • Annual Campaign (includes six-county region) – $20.6 million
  • Community grants, ROC the Day, Community Initiatives – $9 million
  • Other giving – $2.5 million

Today’s presentation featured a livestreamed welcome from Jaime Saunders, the organization’s president and chief executive officer.

Photo: Screenshot of pre-recorded video featuring Amber Lingenfelter, speaking from the YWCA of Genesee County. Former Genesee County Manager Jay Gsell is in the background.

Merger of six chapters create powerful regional alliance: United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes

By Press Release

Press release:

Today, six United Way chapters officially announced their merger and the creation of a powerful and aligned organization: United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes, serving the counties of Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Wayne and Wyoming.

The organization, which altogether raises and distributes more than $30 million annually, now encompasses 5,144 square miles of rural, suburban and urban neighborhoods, and brings together more than 50,000 donors, 1,300 workplaces, 1,000 nonprofit partners, and thousands of volunteers to address the region’s biggest human services challenges.

All current team members across the six counties remain with the organization, bringing a breadth of hands-on experience, in-depth understanding, and increased people power to the expanded footprint.

Jaime Saunders will serve as the merged organization’s president and CEO, with Cicely Strickland-Ruiz as chief operating officer, Jennifer Cathy as chief impact officer, Barbara Pierce as chief development officer, and Laurie Ganon as chief financial officer.

Former regional directors will continue to serve in leadership roles: Kari Buch as associate director of Community Impact, and Tammy Hathaway and Carol Pettis as senior regional development managers.

The six branches have worked together for decades, with Monroe County providing back-office services including financial, IT, marketing and human resources functions for all. The new structure, proven during theorganization’s Spring 2021 campaign season, streamlines the organization’s front-end processes. Its success helped United Way rebound to pre-pandemic levels of funding for its human services partners.

“People and businesses function across local geographic boundaries,” said Jaime Saunders, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes. “Working together more cohesively across the region will make it easier for our business partners and donors to share resources, and our nonprofit partners to get elevated support so they can remain focused on providing services.”

What will not change is United Way’s commitment to local communities.

Dollars raised in an area will stay committed to that area. Donors will also retain the ability to direct their contributions to the causes they feel strongest about. United Way will remain committed to its three core impact areas, providing meaningful Community Impact Fund Impact Grants to its nonprofit partners supporting health, education, and economic mobility, and short-term community impact fund innovation grants for crisis response, synergy and equity.

“The real power of United Way comes from the community,” said Lauren Dixon, board chair of United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes, and an Ontario County resident and Monroe County business owner. “As neighbors come together in support of neighbors, United Way becomes a conduit for connecting those resources to the most pressing needs of each community. This merged organization will combine the power of the entire region with an intensely localized focus.”

The combined United Way has created a new Regional Advisory Council and regional cabinets to advise and inform strategies and ensure local communities from across the region are represented in the new organization. In addition, its Board of Directors has added members from the previous United Ways’ leadership, who will work alongside those who already live and work across county boundaries.

In its first public announcement, United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes not only confirmed that it will recover to pre-pandemic levels of Community Impact Fund support totaling $12.9 million to 190 programs region-wide, but also announced $125,000 in new, multi-county allocations to nonprofits in Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Wayne and Wyoming counties.

The funding, $25,000 in each county through the organization’s Project Uplift initiative, has been committed to existing nonprofit partners to support and administer direct, discretionary interventions for community members experiencing barriers to well-being and economic stability. It is the first of many multi-county funding initiatives United Way anticipates rolling out across the region in the coming years.

In an effort to hear and learn from the community, over the coming months, United Way’s Community Impact team will conduct a listening tour with human service agencies across the six counties. The effort will be focused on aligning approaches and systems to maximize outcomes without creating additional burden for service providers.

“We will maintain the consistency of funding as we coordinate processes and procedures on our end,” said Jennifer Cathy, United Way’s chief impact officer. “We will take the next few years to synchronize six distinct grant cycles and application timelines into one, all with an eye to improving the experience for – and supporting the outcomes of – our partner agencies.”

Workplaces and donors will notice simplification of some processes immediately, but otherwise United Way’sAnnual Campaign will remain unchanged. It will kick off its region-wide campaign in January, and year-round efforts will continue to help the organization raise needed funds to respond to community needs.

“We remain focused on providing local workplaces, donors and volunteers with easy and meaningful ways tomake a big difference across our region,” said Barbara Pierce, United Way’s chief development officer.

“In addition to maintaining our current channels for giving, we will also continue to innovate and create new funds like our recently introduced Equity Fund, so donors can support the causes that are most important to them.”

United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes has launched its new website in conjunction with the announcement, and more information can be found at

Reminder: There will be a morningtime Open House in Genesee County to mark the milestones this Wednesday, July 28, at GO ART!, located inside the Seymour Building at 201 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia. Time is 8 to 9:30 a.m. A brief presentation will be made at 8:30 a.m.

Authentically Local