Elizabeth, New Jersey – November 9, 2011 – Today the United Ways of Central Jersey, Hudson, Greater Mercer, Monmouth and Greater Union Counties proudly announce a new partnership, United Way Community Solutions (UWCS).  The goal of UWCS is to leverage the combined resources, strength and reach of the five United Ways in order to better serve the needs of their communities.   

 “During these difficult times, we need to work together and take advantage of our combined talents so we can help those in need,” said James W. Horne Jr., CEO of United Way of Greater Union County.  “This is a very exciting day for all of us.  By joining together, we know we will be able to create a stronger positive impact on the lives of everyone who lives in our region than we could have separately.”

UWCS has already begun collaborating on projects and seeing excellent results.  “This year, our five United Ways teamed up for a summer “Stuff the Bus” drive to ensure that as many children as possible begin their school year with the tools they need to succeed,” said Dan A. Alito, President and CPO of United Way of Hudson County.  “Together, we provided 21,963 backpacks filled with pens, pencils, notebooks and more to the students in their areas.  The supplies were distributed to local children, who needed the supplies to be able to start the school year ready to learn, at over 30 community organizations.”

The UWCS also collaborated with The Wounded Warrior Project in sponsoring a celebration honoring Wounded Warriors and their families. “The celebration was held at the Visitors Center at Rutgers and Highpoint Solutions Stadium prior to the Navy vs. Rutgers Homecoming game on Saturday, October 15th,” said Herb Klein III, CEO and President of United Way of Greater Mercer County.  “Our event featured keynote speaker Colonel Greg Gadson, an inspirational speaker and highly decorated career Army officer, who continues to serve on active duty despite being severely wounded in Iraq.  We were very glad to work with our fellow UWCS members to make this day a success.”

 “These projects are just the beginning,” said Gloria Aftanski, President and CPO of United Way of Central Jersey.  “UCWS is looking to grown in strength and scope in the coming months.  We look forward to being able to expand our work together and deliver more of the services our communities require.”

“We see this as an excellent opportunity to combine our talents to advance the common good throughout New Jersey,” said Timothy C. Hearne Jr., CEO and President and United Way of Monmouth County.  “Our goal is to make it easier and more efficient to connect our community to the human services they need.”

To learn more about UWCS, contact Paul Gibney, Director of Marketing & Communications for United Way of Greater Union County at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 908-353-7171 x129.