SERVING COUNTY CENTRAL: The city and five surrounding towns

Thanks to your past gift and those who came before us, the United Way of Cayuga County has been supporting programs for those living in the 13021 zip code for more than a century. In a previous article, we shared an overview of how your dollars impact our friends throughout County Central in the towns of Aurelius, Throop, Sennett, Owasco, and Fleming as well as the city of Auburn. Today, we are sharing three stories from our Member Agencies who provide critical programming to our County Central neighbors in the areas of Education, Safety Net Needs, and Health. While you read, consider celebrating our milestone year with a $75 gift and ensure these programs can continue to provide essential programming in Cayuga County.


Loretto: The Commons on St. Anthony

Loretto: The Commons on St. Anthony | CNA Nurse Training Program

Since 1922, your United Way has been dedicated to meeting the community where they are. As stewards of your dollars, we ensure your gifts support needs as they evolve—such as workforce development opportunities like the newly established CNA Nurse Training Program at Loretto: The Commons on St. Anthony. Today, your gifts are giving individuals, like Eric Ingersoll, the opportunity to advance in their field while taking care of their families.

Eric shares that “[o]n a busy day, I joked that as a former CNA I could help, but I had let my certification expire. The nurse replied, ‘Why don’t you come work here?’ I told her I didn’t want to go back to school to earn my certification, and that’s when I learned about Loretto’s 6-week paid CNA Training Program.”

Eric had previously loved being a CNA, especially in short-term rehabilitation because he enjoys helping people regain their strength and independence. Since Loretto offered a paid training program, earning his recertification was easy, and he had a guaranteed job at The Commons on St. Anthony after completing the program.

“The Loretto training program offered the ideal mix of bookwork and hands-on training, so it was engaging and interesting. The Nurse Educators were skilled at meeting everyone where they were, adapting the content so that those new to healthcare and those with experience like me understood the material. Thanks to Loretto’s CNA Training Program, I’m back doing the job I love: taking care of people. The good news is that Loretto also offers a similar program to become a licensed practical nurse. I plan on taking advantage of that in 2024 as well.”

Workforce development opportunities allow individuals to fulfill their dreams. Your gift to the United Way of Cayuga County paves the path to brighter futures by opening the doors to new adventures and providing the support needed to succeed.


E. John Gavras Center

E. John Gavras Center | Essential Childcare Program

For nearly 70 years, the United Way of Cayuga County has been partnering with the E. John Gavras Center to support various programs and services. Today, dollars support their Essential Childcare program to provide safe, reliable childcare solutions for neighbors like our young friend from Auburn, who we’ll call “Brian.”

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood such as violence, abuse, and growing up in a family with mental health or substance use issues. Stress from ACEs can change brain development and affect how the body responds to stress.

Looking for daycare options, Brian’s foster parents learned about the programs at the Gavras Center that support both children and families. Brian came to the Gavras Center’s Essential Childcare program as a toddler after struggling at another daycare. At times, Brian demonstrated a high degree of aggression towards his sibling and other children. Once enrolled, Brian was evaluated by the Gavras Center’s psychologist who noticed that Brian’s behaviors often occurred after visiting his biological parents which led to poor sleep, difficulty concentrating, and impulsive decisions.

The Essential Childcare program provides a predictable, structured, educational, and fun routine. Brian enjoys the sensory tables, arts and crafts, and creative/dramatic play. Brian learned yoga and uses those skills to regulate his emotions when feeling upset or angry. Today, Brian still attends the Essential Childcare program as well as receiving counseling and play therapy at the Gavras Center. Brian is thriving and in the process of being adopted by his foster family—he has found his forever home.

Your gift to the United Way supports programs and services that provide safety nets to our neighbors. Thanks to your past support, the E. John Gavras Center is a safe haven for Brian and other children where they can learn, grow, and thrive.


Westminster Manor Adult Home

Westminster Manor Adult Home | Senior Activities Program

As healthcare and nutrition continue to improve, our neighbors are all living longer and creating an increased need for senior programing. With an average age of 93, your dollars are supporting a very robust activities program to keep residents at Westminster Manor Adult Home engaged and active in the community.

The mission at Westminster Manor is to provide a comfortable, caring environment ministering to the body, mind, and spirit of all residents. With many residents coming from Cayuga County or the surrounding area, their families live close by. The increased activities program provides opportunities to engage with their families at The Manor. A resident, who we’ll call “Jane”, has lived at The Manor for more than five years shares the impact of this new program:

Since the summer, Jane has noticed that the new and elevated activities are allowing Westminster Manor the ability to provide a variety of programs, events, and experiences that meet a broad range of interests. Additionally, Jane believes this creates a safe place to develop friendships as well as helping residents maintain mental and physical abilities. Jane shares that many of her neighbors at The Manor are retired educators like herself, nurses, professionals, and homemakers who enjoy being able to express themselves and socialize during the Arts & Crafts Programs, at Garden Club, Armchair Travel, at presentations, and through other activities.

When you give to the United Way of Cayuga County, your dollars are supporting our neighbors throughout all stages of life. Today, Westminster Manor is putting your dollars to work by purchasing supplies needed to fill out their activity calendar including special events, Veteran recognition programs, as well as guest speakers presenting on history, health, creative writing, and more. In addition to on-site activities, Westminster Manor is able to host off-site adventures to cultural centers and local theaters thanks to your gift.


For more than a century, your donation to the United Way has and continues to support the city and five surrounding towns. Today and for the past 75 years, your gift goes further—your dollars ensure programming is available for our neighbors throughout the city and ALL 23 towns. To ensure you and our neighbors have access to these critical programs, we need YOUR help. Support tomorrow by donating today.

Support the Next 100 Years and give today!

Article written by United Way of Cayuga County staff   |   Friday, February 2, 2024