Jody Poniatowski holds a United Way sign.When Jenna Triano ’20 and Blossom Jiang ’19 volunteer as attendance ambassadors at Paxinosa and Cheston elementary schools, respectively, their work is supported directly by donations to the United Way.

“I give to the United Way because I see firsthand how those contributions can make a real difference in the daily lives of children in Easton,” says Amber Zuber, director of Landis Student Leadership.

Zuber oversees the work of 32 student coordinators–including Triano and Jiang–who learn leadership skills through volunteer service. Those service opportunities include domestic and international trips during school breaks; a pre-orientation program that introduces first-year students to volunteer opportunities in Easton; and MOSAIC, a program that pairs 32 students with nonprofits, with each student recruiting peers to participate in weekly service projects that they create in partnership with the organizations.

At Cheston Elementary, Jiang convinced students to improve their attendance by dangling this reward: lunch with Lafayette’s men’s basketball team.

Other student projects include homework help and tutoring at Boys & Girls Club of Easton and Easton Area Community Center, as well as shopping, cooking, and sharing meals that they prepare with residents at Third Street Alliance, a shelter for women and children. all three of those organizations benefit from United Way funding.

“A gift to United Way helps our students help our neighbors while they learn to lead and serve,” Zuber says. “It’s a combination that’s hard to match.”