Utica, NY (WIBX) - The United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area is providing two area families with beds donated by Metro Mattress.

The families are also getting sheets, pillows and comforters that were donated by a local retailer who learned about the project. Susan Woods, Director of Marketing and Communications for the United Way said coming together to help those in need is what this community is known for.

Woods said, "About a month ago an area resident approached the United Way needing a bed and wanting to know if we were an agency that could provide a bed. We were delighted to be able to reach out to Metro Mattress and they provided us two wonderful bed sets. And today we are going to be able to bless two families with the beds. A bed is one of the most basic of human needs, and meeting those human needs is what United Way is all about."

Woods said a local retailer learned about the project and donated the sheets, pillows and the comforters for the beds. Resource Development Manager, Adam Lawless said today's donation is just one example of how the United Way serves the community. He said, "This day really is quite important because it shows how United Way can affect the community in many different ways. A lot of people see us as a funding organization but we're really much more--we have a whole give, advocate and volunteer section and this is one of the ways that we're able to give and volunteer."

Lawless said the beds are being donated thanks to the efforts of two volunteers--one from The National Association of Letter Carriers (Branch 358), and the other from The United Mine Workers of America (Local 717). He said the men are generously taking time out from their day off to help the families.

According to the release the value of the beds and bedding is greater than $1,500. In a released statement, David Shiroff, President and CEO of Metro Mattress said, "United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area is making a tremendous difference in our community by providing a broad spectrum of services to children and families in need, many of whom are in crisis. Metro Mattress is pleased to recognize the incredible impact United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area is making in our community each and every day. It was our distinct privilege to make a contribution through our 50 Beds in 50 Days initiative to this wonderful organization."

"The community is essential. Without our donors, we really are nothing. Every year we go out and we recruit volunteers and we recruit donations with the community, and without their help we aren't able to do things like this. We aren't able to have staff on site to be able to answer these needs and contact places like Metro Mattress and ask for donations. And without the funding we are not able to support area programs and agencies--it really is all about our donors and volunteers," said Lawless.

Individuals and area agencies can support the United Way by logging onto www.unitedwaygu.org and click on the Donate Now button, or to volunteer, visit the groups volunteer section on its website.  For more information contact the United Way at (315) 733-4691.

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