United Way Looking to Fill Gaps in Services
From The Intelligencer: Wheeling News-Register
July 27, 2016
Over the past two years, the United Way team of Tina Carinci Morris and Wendy Tronka has garnered more than $700,000 for United Way and non-United Way agencies to help them respond to a number of unmet social service needs in the community.
Among 40 successful grant applications in just over two years, three of the major projects receiving funds through the team’s efforts include the free dental clinic at Wheeling Health Right, the “Let’s Start Fresh” initiative to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to clients served by 15 local agencies and the Seeing Hand Association’s Edelman Garden on Wheeling Island.
According to United Way Executive Director George Smoulder, most social service organizations in the area have very small administrative staffs and budgets. As a result, The United Way Planned Giving Committee set out to locate resources that would allow the local chapter to go above and beyond its normal scope.
Smoulder emphasized none of the funds raised from this venture go to the annual United Way campaign, but instead the United Way took the lead to collaborate with their agencies and respond to additional needs and projects that are not covered by annual campaign funds. These funds have helped create the free dental clinic, provided resources to domestic violence victims who are attempting to re-establish themselves in the community, help create a vertical garden managed by individuals with vision impairment, assist child care and feeding programs that provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the individuals they serve and create a new breast cancer navigation system for underserved cancer patients.
Wheeling Councilman Dave Palmer, associate director of the local United Way, noted the “Let’s Start Fresh” project is a prime example of the type of impact these supplemental grants have had.
“Over the past year, it has allowed us to provide 15 different agencies from Brooke to Wetzel counties — about half of which are non-United Way agencies — to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the children and adults they serve,” Palmer said. “While many of us take for granted the ability to afford fresh produce, families that struggle to stretch their budgets find fresh fruits and vegetables to be a luxury. We’re proud to provide agencies with resources to address this service gap.”
Smoulder said working with Morris and Tronka offers an added level of marketing experience to agencies whose budgets are constrained.
In addition to grant writing, they regularly assist local nonprofits with annual appeals, corporate sponsorships, special events and publications.