For the sixth year, United Way of the Mohawk Valley’s Emerging Leaders United (United Way MV’s ELU) partnered with area businesses to host a drive for hygiene items. This year, 36 local businesses participated with their employees and customers, collecting 5,645 donated items valued at $15,289 for the ELU Hygiene Drive.

United Way MV and many local businesses worked together to collect items through workplaces and various donations sent to their Utica office. This year, items collected were deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizers, cleaning products, diapers, baby wipes, laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, lotions, and feminine hygiene products, among other things. These hygiene items have been distributed to 5 local non-profits including domestic violence shelters, agencies assisting individuals who are unhoused, food pantries, and kitchens.

“When people think of United Way of the Mohawk Valley, I hope events like this come to mind. We work to connect other non-profits to resources as part of our impact locally,” said United Way MV’s Development Manager Selma Lupardo. “The ELU Hygiene Drive helps bridge a large gap in services where our area needs it the most, and the workplaces that donate hygiene items show how generous our community members have been and continue to be year after year.”

This year, a few companies stood out with their efforts to help ELU with the success of the Hygiene Drive. The 2023 top performers were Berkshire Bank, CNY Labor, Jervis Public Library, NBT Bank, and Utica First Insurance. Participating businesses included: Academics First, ADK Chiropractic, Albany Elementary, Amazon, AmeriCU, Ancient Shakes, Braden Supply, Berkshire Bank, Caruso Orthodontics, CNY Labor, Empowered Pathways, First Source, Hamilton College, Hospice & Palliative Care, Jervis Library, Legal Aid, M&T Bank, Mastrovito, MMRI, MV Wellness, NBT, NY Sash, Paradigm, PJ Green, Pursuit Aerospace, Ramboll, Retro Fitness, Rising Phoenix, Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Schuyler Commons, Site Seeker, Sunset Woods, The Pines, Upstate Family Health Center, Utica First Insurance, and some independent donations.

United Way MV’s ELU is a membership affinity group for individuals between 21-40 years of age who $100 or more to United Way MV annually. ELU members receive exclusive benefits and volunteer opportunities. More details about being a member or taking a leadership volunteer role and joining the United Way ELU Steering Committee can be found at Partnerships with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and Berkshire Bank help the Emerging Leaders United Steering Committee plan engagement, volunteer, and development opportunities.