BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The United Way of the Mahoning Valley teamed up with a local family to provide assistance to people in the area.
The United Way partnered with Southwoods Health CEO Ed Muransky and his daughter, Donielle, to sponsor the first Satur-Day of Cares.
Volunteers joined the United Way of the Mahoning Valley and the Muransky family to help feed local people in need at the Southwoods Executive Building in Boardman.
“It really came from an idea to having all of this today in really less than one week,” said Muransky.
He says he had watched a story on the local news about people being turned away from a food pantry pickup. It got him thinking, how can I help those people who can’t help themselves?
“It was a chain of events, seeing the 600 cars, hearing that a couple people got turned down for shut-ins and then watching the governor’s press conference again. Saying, hey, if you’re vulnerable, you shouldn’t be out. And it’s like there’s a huge hole here we’ve got to get some of that to those people,” Muransky said.
So he reached out to the United Way who steered his idea in the right direction.
“The vulnerable should stay at home. Everybody should keep their distance, and those people that can’t get out, don’t have a car, this program is going to tie the food and the needs to the volunteers… and having things delivered,” Muransky said.
The volunteers packed the bags and loaded them into cars.
They then went to deliver over 100 of those bags to local residents. Those who received the food were people identified as in-need by agencies in partnership with the United Way.
Ted Schmidt of PNC Bank and his company have been working alongside the United Way since the pandemic hit the Valley.
As they continue to find ways to get essential items to people, organizers of Satur-Days of Care hope this delivery service will fill that void for those who can’t go out and get what they need.
“We meet every week as a group and we talk about the issues around the community and that’s how we come up with the specific needs, so we aren’t duplicating or stepping on each other’s toes,” said Schmidt.
Muransky is sure that, as their efforts grow, more people in the community will show up to make it all happen.
Roxann Sebest, a spokesperson for the United Way of Mahoning Valley, said they are aiming to help those who can’t help themselves.
“We’re going through our agencies like Catholic Charities, Direction Home, Ursuline Ministries, YMCA, to get their clients and the people they deal with on a regular basis to give us the names, because they know who needs this help. They’ve been dealing with them, they’ve been hearing from them. It’s a safe way for us to deliver the food,” Sebest said.
Sebest said this service is for those with no transportation or people like neighbors to help them get what they need. She said if you or someone you know is in need of any service, try calling 211 first.
This way, you can see what resources are already available to you.
“Youngstown’s a great place. We have a lot of volunteers. Everybody’s stepping up,” Muransky said.
The plan is to host Satur-Day of Cares every Saturday for as long as it is needed. They expect to help more people as the weeks go on.