Uniontown’s East End United Community Center strives for unity and outreach | Helping the Helpers

Terry Burden (right), EEUCC board member, picks up cakes from Goodie Girls Cake Shop, which donated cakes for the center's gala to celebrate 45 years of service. Also pictured are Goodie Girls co-owners Jamie Pikulski (center) and Joyce Stewart (right) Uniontown Herald-Standard photo.

By Mark Hofmann

UNIONTOWN, Pa. — The East End United Community Center has not stopped trying to make people in the community come together and prosper, even during COVID-19.

(Capital-Star file)

The Uniontown non-profit organization was founded in 1975 and has addressed community needs such as providing food and basic necessities for low-income families, as well as focusing on the growth and development of the individual and family unit through exposure to a multitude of enrichment opportunities.

“We envision a thriving community where everyone is valued,” said Keeley Forrestel, the executive director of the East End United Community Center.

The community-based organization’s mission is to advance the growth and well-being of individuals and families by providing educational, social, economic and cultural opportunities to the community of the east end of Uniontown.

In this pre-pandemic file photo, (from left) Amanda Thomson, Layonna Hughes and Aleyiah King sit at the face painting station at the East End United Community Center’s Community Spirit Day (Uniontown Herald-Standard photo)

Forrestel said, even through the pandemic, the center was able to offer a multitude of services including the Little Legends Childcare facility and preschool program; the 21st Century Community Learning Center’s After School and Summer Camp programs; an At-risk Meal Program that provides youth with a warm dinner and evening snack each day; the Kid’s Kloset where low-income families can find free clothes and other accessories for children; EEUCC’s Diaper Bank where the center supplies diapers and other infant items as no cost to low-income families once per month; snack foods for children to eat for the weekends and truancy prevention.

“We have been so grateful for the support of our community members over the last several months,” Forrestel said. “Without the ongoing donations, in-kind contributions and check-ins, we would not be able to serve the community in the capacity that we are currently doing so.”

  • IF YOU WANT TO HELP: The East End United Community Center is seeking monetary donations, which can be made by mail or via their website at www.eeucc.org and donations of goods and supplies can be dropped off at their center between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 150 Coolspring Street, Uniontown, Pa., 15401. To call the center, dial 724-437-1660.

She added that, like many other organizations, those who run the center are nervous about the uncertainty of the upcoming months, but are also extremely hopeful, knowing they have the support of the community.

“We know the individuals and families who depend on us for a hot meal and weekly supplies feel the same way,” Forrestel said. “We are determined to stay present and continue to work to serve our community in the best way we can.”

Mark Hofmann is a reporter for the Uniontown Herald-Standard, a publishing partner of the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, where this story is being simultaneously published. Readers may email him at [email protected]