Longtime Ashland United Way director Ev DeVaul retiring!
Please see this great article about Ev from RichlandSource.com written by Tim Busbey:
AKRON, Ohio – October 13, 2016 – United Way of Summit County has welcomed a new member into its family of community impact programs and initiatives. Created in 2013, the iC.A.R.E Mentoring program provides Akron Public School students in grades K-12 with nurturing and supportive role models.
Unlike other mentoring programs, which generally involve activities outside of school hours, iC.A.R.E works within the school system, coordinating with administrators to ensure that students can spend time with their mentors without taking time away from their academic work.
Since beginning in Summit County three years ago, iC.A.R.E has grown significantly, now serving nearly 300 students with a roster of more than 200 mentors. Volunteer mentors spend one hour per week with each mentee, helping children and young adults excel academically, build confidence and acquire the skills needed to face difficult life challenges.
“It’s a great source of stability for students,” says Jonathan Greer, director of iC.A.R.E Mentoring for United Way. “More than a third of Akron public school students change schools each year, but mentors follow their mentees from school to school.” Indeed, the results are often striking – absenteeism rates for students who are mentored through in-school programs have been shown to decrease by nearly 50 percent.
“It’s simple: kids go to school more when they have a mentor,” adds Greer. “It makes a huge difference when they can spend time with an adult who isn’t a disciplinarian, just a friend.”
It seems as though students agree. The program boasts a retention rate of above 90 percent.
For United Way, the acquisition of iC.A.R.E provides another opportunity to expand its impact in the local community. With the increase in recognition and resources that comes with being a United Way program, the organization hopes to have more than 1000 students involved in iC.A.R.E Mentoring this school year.
United Way has recruited a team of ten AmeriCorps VISTAs to help coordinate volunteer efforts and expand the program. The organization hopes to attract further funding for the program in the future through nontraditional sources such as grants.
Further, United Way will take advantage of its large network of corporate partners whose employees could serve as mentors in the program. Just as with other United Way engagement opportunities, volunteers can gain the satisfaction of helping to improve their communities. Corporations who encourage their employees to participate as mentors can also enjoy the benefits of greater employee satisfaction and a more upbeat and motivated workforce.
Ultimately, the addition of iC.A.R.E to its roster of programs will help United Way continue to advance its mission to improve education across the local community. With more than a quarter of Akron public school students not graduating high school in four years, investments in programs like iC.A.R.E, which help students succeed in school, can make an enormous difference in the lives of children and young people.
“iC.A.R.E is a natural fit for us,” says Jim Mullen, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Summit County. “It will allow us to drive volunteer engagement – consistent with our increased focus on engaging our partners in the work we do – and it will create a measurable impact in the lives of students and families in this community.”
“This program is a great investment in the future of this city,” he adds.
“The difference in our school climate, our students and their performance is marked and measurable,” said Akron Public Schools Superintendent David W. James, in talking about iC.A.R.E’s influence on grades, attendance and discipline. “We have actually been working with mentoring programs for several years now, and Jonathan’s approach is working at APS.”
For more information on iC.A.R.E Mentoring, visit www.uwsummit.org/mentor. Individuals who would like to volunteer as mentors should contact Jonathan Greer at email@example.com. Corporate groups should contact Sarah Catherine Teixeira by phone at 330-762-0317 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About United Way of Summit County
United Way of Summit County advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Our focus is on Education, Income and Health because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life. We train a spotlight on critical issues, engage with private and public sector leaders and coordinate agendas with partners to leverage Collective Impact. We invite everyone to be part of the change by giving, advocating and volunteering. When we work together in common purpose, we LIVE UNITED. For more information about United Way of Summit County visit uwsummit.org.
Provided by: Beth B. Boggins
Vice President, Marketing & Brand Management, United Way of Summit County
Direct: 330-643-5519, email@example.com
Journal-News, Butler County
By Wayne Baker, Staff Writer
The Butler County United Way decided to launch its annual campaign season with twist. Gone for now are the days of big political speeches and pancake breakfasts. Now, the organization is hoping that “Building Blocks” will be a successful way to garner support.
The United Way set a goal of $1.9 million for 2014 and then upped that mark to $2 million for 2015. This year’s goal is $1.8 million, according to Pam Cottell of the United Way.
In late August, the United Way eschewed the normal big launch breakfast and instead offered three “Building Block” events that helped put the group’s message of serving the community.
The first event was held at Ryan’s Tavern and was called “Books and Brew,” and was designed to provide literacy kits to preschool children. More than 100 kits were assembled during the event and will be distributed to Hamilton children. The kits included Eric Carle’s book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
“The literacy kit is about bringing the book to life and engaging children in the learning process at a young age,” Cottell said.
A simultaneous income-based needs block event was held at West Chester Hospital and the Fairfield Food Pantry, as 400 care packages for adults and infants were created, according to Cottell.
She said the packages included toiletries and other everyday items that are part of a healthy lifestyle. The packages will be delivered to the Tri-County Assembly Church’s TCA Choice Pantry and the Family Promise Butler County.
“The TCA Choice Food Pantry is a ministry dedicated to meeting the needs of people in Butler County,” Cottell said. “Family Promise Butler County is a collaborative solution to the rising homelessness and financial challenges families are facing in Butler County.”
One of the newest companies in the county, Barclaycards, decided to hold a private company event to support “Building Blocks,” as 30 employees volunteered their time to create 200 basic care packages that will be delivered to TCA Choice and Family Promise as well.
Mag Baker, president and CEO of the United Way, feels that the the organization’s “Building Blocks,” will be a better way to reach out to the community, and enhance the message of a healthy lifestyle and teamwork in order to help people in Butler County. She said it is also a better way to draw people into the mission, than one huge event featuring several speeches.
“Our normal way of kicking off our campaign season is to hold a breakfast where we invite the public to hear our message,” Baker said. “While it is important to meet with community leaders and others who share our vision, we felt like this ‘Building Blocks’ approach held a much larger impact.”
Krystal Tipton, director of Community Impact for the United Way, said it is time to try something like “Building Blocks” in order to combat poverty numbers in Butler County.
“We concentrate on the areas of education, health, and income stability to help people in Butler County live better lives. Focusing on these areas through our ‘Building Block’ events not only gets some help to those in need, but it is also a way for the community to get involved and come together for the common good,” Tipton said. “With the poverty level nearing 15 percent in Butler County, anything that we can do to redirect the trend is a positive thing.”
Getting companies like Barclaycard to help is something that will allow “Building Blocks” to succeed, according to Linda Yarger who manages resource development for the United Way.
“It is becoming more and more popular for companies to require their employees to perform volunteer work,” she said. “Butler County United Way can be a partner to these companies by providing volunteer opportunities. While donations are always important, volunteering and advocating also can be a fulfilling and meaningful way to affect change.”
Please click below to read the original article:
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.