Gavin Clay is United Way’s 2021 Inspired Youth Award Recipient

(Stark and Carroll Counties, Ohio) April 19, 2021 – United Way of Greater Stark County announces Gavin Clay as the 2021 Inspired Youth award recipient.

“When Gavin found out his classmate, DJ Patterson, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, he wanted to do something to help,” said Krista Clay, Gavin’s mother. “He researched organizations that donate or help with research for pediatric cancers and decided on St. Baldrick’s. He liked the fact that the organization is primarily run by volunteers and felt very compelled to join this particular organization so that he could shave his head in solidarity with DJ and all the other children going through cancer treatments.”

In the past three years, Gavin and his teammates have helped raise over $30K for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Gavin is thirteen, in seventh grade at West Branch Middle School, and lives with his parents, Krista and Corey, and his younger siblings, Ashton and Sutton.

United Way began the Inspired Youth award in 2019. It recognizes the extraordinary contributions of young individuals, who volunteer their time and skills to better their community in the areas of health, education and financial stability, and inspire others to join in the efforts, creating the “multiplier effect.” Award recipients demonstrate initiative, leadership and creativity in their service to others, serve as a role model for others in their community and inspire others to join them in their effort.

“The youth bring so much energy and passion to volunteering efforts,” says Angela Perisic, United Way of Greater Stark County Executive Vice President of Resource Development and Community Development. “We fully support a rising generation of altruistic youth. Civic-minded youth are changemakers who will become socially and politically active adults. We see volunteering as a pathway to increased academic success and an effective avenue for students entering the workforce. United Way runs on volunteers and is very grateful to our community volunteers. We look forward to seeing many more youth voices at the table!” 

United Way celebrates Gavin, and many other amazing volunteers including our 2021-22 Campaign Co-Chairs, this week on social media – National Volunteer Week, April 18 to 24.

Watch Gavin’s video to learn more from him about why he volunteers. To learn more about Gavin, please visit

Past recipients of this award include Isabel Lombardi and Bradley Mull. More information can be found at

About United Way of Greater Stark County
United Way of Greater Stark County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We win by living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crisis. Our mission is to improve the quality of life in our communities by leading in the development of solutions to critical social issues in the areas of health, education and financial stability. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445.