The United Way of Harrison County – through a grant from Depend and United Way worldwide, donated 500 totes with books to United Hospital Center pediatrics and obstetrics in honor of International Literacy Day (ILD) on Thursday, September 8.

Depend® (a brand of Kimberly-Clark) and United Way are partnering to promote healthy, active and independent living throughout an individual’s life, with a focus on volunteering. As a result, United Ways in nine U.S. cities and in Ontario, Canada are expanding their volunteer activities and outreach.

In addition to the grant from Depend, the Harrison County United Way also formed a new partnership with the Harrison County Reading Council, which enabled the local United Way to purchase books at a very reasonable cost. Therefore, allowing an additional 100 totes to be provided to UHC.

The United Nations’ (UN) International Literacy Day annually falls on September 8 to raise people’s awareness of and concern for literacy issues in the world. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day.

“Together on this day, and every day, we help to shine a spotlight on the importance of literacy,” said Tina Yoke, director of the Harrison County United Way. “In countries all over the world, the day raises people’s awareness of and concern for literacy problems within their own communities.”

“How reassuring it is to know that our local United Way is actively working to touch the lives of others through such a generous donation,” said Misty Harlow, RN, labor and delivery nurse manager. “I am honored that UHC was selected.”

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Included in each tote are three children’s books, a bookmark listing the benefits of reading, inserts containing tips on reading to babies effectively and information on additional, helpful resources for mothers.

“Our pediatric patients will have the opportunity for countless hours of enjoyment,” said Sharon Mitchell, RN, pediatrics nurse manager. “This gift will help to start a home library for a lifetime of independent reading.”

“The United Way is thrilled to be able to donate to both the maternity ward and pediatrics at UHC,” said Yoke. “The community has been so generous to us and this is just one way we can give back to West Virginia.”

Photo (L-R): Sharon Mitchell, RN, nurse manager of pediatrics at UHC; Tina Yoke, director of Harrison United Way; Helen Roberts, Reading Council President, Harrison County Schools Curriculum Specialist; and Abby Messenger, Federal Programs Curriculum Coordinator, Reading Council Member.