United Way formalizes area merger

Jan. 5—The Chenango United Way and the United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties have announced their formal merger under a new name.

After nearly 2 1/2 years of working together, according to a media release, the two organizations officially combined as of Jan. 1. The newly-formed three-county United Way organization "will continue to champion the unique identities and needs of each of the counties it serves with campaign dollars being raised and allocated in separate Chenango, Delaware and Otsego County regions," the release said.

"Keeping dollars local is what United Way is all about," said Jennifer Telesky, United Way board chair and a senior vice president at NBT Bank. "This was a key concept in the discussions held by our joint task force, and we believe this model will best serve individuals and families in our rural communities."

"Coming together in this way will provide us with efficiencies that can be invested in programs to better serve people in need, the opportunity to boost fundraising revenue across the region, and the ability to strengthen community outcomes with enhanced accountability and transparency for our donors," Elizabeth Monaco, United way executive director, said. "I'm excited to see where the future leads us now that we are officially one combined United Way."

As of Jan. 1, the name of the agency is the United Way of Mid Rural New York Inc. "We wanted our new name to represent our focus on the rural nature of our donors, and the programs and the needs we are striving to serve here," Monaco said. "Rural communities have unique challenges related to issues of transportation, homelessness and child care and we want to be sure we are addressing them differently than a more urban community would. Our new name is just one way we are reflecting that intent and focus."

In July 2022, according to the release, the Chenango United Way also affiliated with the United Way of Madison County. It is expected that merger process will finalize in April 2023. When it occurs, Madison County will be consolidated under the United Way of Mid Rural New York.

For more information, call 607-334-8815 or at 607-244-3716.