ORRVILLE Dawn Cazzolli is looking forward to getting back out into the community, and she’s inviting residents from Orrville, Dalton, Kidron and Marshallville to come along with her.
Cazzolli began her new position as the executive director of Orrville Area United Way at a challenging time – near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 Campaign was appropriately named “Now More Than Ever” because the pandemic created challenges for everyone. In response, the OAUW, volunteers and donors rose to the occasion, Cazzolli said.
This past year, the organization had to do things differently. But the much-needed work continued and the organization even exceeded its campaign goal of $650,000.
Like many other events impacted by the pandemic, the Orrville Area United Way Annual Awards Dinner also was different. Last week, OAUW board members, committee members and staff met at Schmid Hall, with cell phones and chargers in hand, and called the more than 50 volunteers to thank them.
“We missed this event last year, and knew that we could not possibly go another year without celebrating our dedicated volunteers,” Cazzolli said in a news release.
The OAUW hosted its first Thank-A-Thon – appropriately during National Volunteer Appreciation Week -– to thank volunteers. The OAUW made it into a fun event and a video is available on the OAUW’s Facebook page.
“It’s different and we’re excited about it,” Cazzolli said before the event last week. “We’re literally going to phone each of our volunteers and thank them personally for their investments.”
Cazzolli said they’re looking to expand their number of volunteers. Anyone from the Dalton, Kidron, Marshallville and Orrville areas who is interested in helping the OAUW in a variety of capacities from board membership to campaign cabinet activities to committee work is asked to call the office.
Recently, the OAUW granted money to more than 17 local nonprofits.
The Orrville Area United Way has begun to plan for its 2022 campaign and Cazzolli said she would like to hear some fresh ideas and see more engagement from the younger population. She said the organization recently went through a strategic planning session and she would like to begin reaching out into the community hosting conversations with community members to help drive where funding goes.
For more information, call 330-683-8181. Visit the website at orrvilleareaunitedway.org.