Mission: The mission of the united way of greater st. Joseph is to improve lives through the caring power of community.
Programs: United way allocated servicesunited way funding primarily supports the direct client services related to education, financial stability, and health that are delivered through united way's local 17 partner agencies. Among the achievements in 2017 were:education: united way of greater st. Joseph works to help people of all ages reach their potential through a variety of educational pursuits that will, in turn, strengthen our community. Quality early learning, youth education in and out of the classroom, and other instruction for life-long learning are just a few ways united way supports education. -179 children with a disability or special need and their families received early intervention services that helped the children work toward important developmental milestones. -more than 600 students learned about career opportunities, education and training, and employer expectations to prepare them for entry into the workforce after high school. Financial stability: stable household finances are important for daily living, which is why united way of greater st. Joseph also focuses on financial stability. United way supports efforts for families and individuals in crisis. Such efforts include food, disaster relief, information and referral, and shelter services related to homelessness or domestic violence. United way is also working to prevent financial situations for becoming problems in the first place. -10,821 referrals were made to families seeking assistance through the local information resource and referral hotline. -more than 32,000 nights of safe and stable shelter were provided. -31 individuals with disabilities were assisted in achieving competitive employment. Health: in the greater st. Joseph area, your contributions help people of all ages improve their physical and mental well-being. Health is promoted through fitness and wellness activities, nutrition and in-home services, counseling, and other important programs. Good health is crucial for everyone. -more than $34 million in uncompensated medical care was provided to buchanan county children. -more than 4,600 adults and children received needed mental health services. -more than 80,450 meals were delivered to homebound seniors. The united way comunity investment fund is a grant opportunity to meet emerging and emergency needs. Qualifying agencies may apply for funds throught the year. To apply, agencies must complete an application process. Each application is reviewed by volunteers who present funding recommendations to the united way board of directors. In 2017, representatives from non-profits, churches, utility companies, and government agencies as well as community members collaborated to help clients with needs for which there are few or no resources. Through the work of united way unmet needs, area people were connected to resources to help them gain and maintain stability.
united way initiatives and programsi. United way financial stability- providing opportunities for individuals and families to become financially self-sufficient. In 2017,-901 men, women, and children received more than 32,000 nights of emergency shelter. -86 adults with disabilities held jobs through sheltered and supported employment. -249 low-income or elderly people were represented in court at no cost for non-criminal cases. -154 previously homeless households lived in transitional, permanent, or supportive housing. The united way financial stability initiative also promoted free tax preparation services offered by united way partner agency interserv. During the 2017 tax season, more than 1,300 individuals received tax assistance through united way partner agencies. Preparers filed 23 earned income tax credit returns for a total of $84,093, plus more than $1 million dollars was received locally through tax refunds. Free tax preparation services help people keep and save their own money. Ii. United way leadership st. Joseph-building the skills of individuals to be effective leaders in the community. United way leadership st. Joseph is an annual, year-long leadership development program for adults living or working in the st. Joseph area. The program helps create a network of trained individuals willing to engage in leadership and community service with enhanced knowledge of our community's opportunities, realities, and challenges. In 2017, twenty-seven community members completed the program, bringing the total number of program graduates to 854 since 1982. During the year, participants learned and practiced project development related to essential leadership skills. The class was divided into four groups and waschallenged to learn the process of developing a project that would meet a community need. The challenge resulted in the following projects: partnerships which would donate and collect plastic storage totes for clients of the noyes home and the ywca; the development of a career guide for counselors at hillyard technical center to use when talking to students about careers in the trades; creation of a framework which can be used in numerous ways to engage middle school students in planning their future educational choices and understanding the impact of current decisions on their future careers; and an awareness campaign highlighting advantages of a vocational degree or trade school. The 2017 distinguished leader award was presented to class of 1985 alumna, dale boulware. Iii. United way profit in education- to improve the education level of the potential and current workforce. United way profit in education works to continue increasing the high school graduation rate and collaborating with and supporting education efforts across the community. In 2017, united way best (business and education succeed together) served students at both lafayette and benton high schools. Business partners worked with students, helping them learn about local businesses, different jobs available, and required training and education. Also, united way reading adventure was held during the school year with second grade classes at six local elementary schools and held at nine school-age childcare sites during the summer. The goal of united way reading adventure is to help elementary age students maintain and improve their reading skills and to help build their home libraries through donated books. In addition, united way speakers' bureau linked business volunteers with classrooms to help students learn about different careers and employer expectations. Through a series titled breakfast with the experts, more than 600 middle and high school students learned about careers from a panel of people from a specific field, including skilled trades, healthcare, information technology, education, and business. Iv. United way success by 6- preparing children to be successful learners when they begin kindergarten. United way success by 6 fosters and participates in community-wide partnerships to prepare children to be successful learners when they begin kindergarten. The initiative aims to strengthen the systems that nurture our community's youngest members by working with parents, childcare providers, early education teachers, and local businesses. United way success by 6 hosted a variety of parent-centered activities in 2017. Through family fun time, more than 60 families enjoyed early learning activities, a snack, and a free book at events throughout the year. Resource kits aimed to help parents facilitate their child's early development were distributed to more than 2,100 families with newborns and to 1,100 families with incoming kindergarteners. Kinderclub prepared children starting kindergarten and their parents for school success with learning activities together and separately in a kindergarten classroom. They met teachers, other parents, and future classmates while becoming familiar with the school building and kindergarten expectations and routines. More than two hundred children completed the kinderclub program in 2017. In addition, united way success by 6 received a grant from mosaic life care in 2016 to implement a project designed to help parents, childcare providers, and other caregivers foster the social-emotional and behavioral development of young children so the children could remain in a high quality childcare or preschool setting and be prepared to begin kindergarten. One of the programs associated with the grant is conscious discipline training for parents and childcare providers. In 2017, an average of 49 parents and 92 providers attended eight different trainings. Because the education level of early educators and childcare providers is a key factor in the quality of care provided to young children in their charge, united way success by 6 delivered more than 2,091 clock hours of training to area childcare providers and early educators. United way success by 6 also awarded 32 scholarships for area childcare providers to continue their formal education. V. United way volunteer center- connecting the community through volunteerism. United way volunteer center is a central resource for volunteer needs across the greater st. Joseph area. Individuals, groups, and corporations seeking volunteer opportunities can find a variety of options calling for varying commitments available at many different non-profit organizations. In 2017, monthly community volunteer resource network (cvrn) meetings were attended by individuals who manage volunteers for non-profit organizations. Cvrn promotes and develops effective volunteer management programs in the community and enhances the knowledge, skills, and connections among members. United way is building the capacity of community volunteer coordinators through the network. The ninth year of united way stuff the bus! School supplies drive brought together hundreds of volunteers who collected more than 24,000 packages of school supply items for students who needed them. Another volunteer center project, the annual holiday volunteer guide, was created to connect those wanting to volunteer during the holiday season.
communicationsit takes strong community support to produce the level of program achievements (listed under 4a), and sustaining that support requires an active communications effort. United way lets donors and the general public know about the organization's accomplishments through printed materials including; an annual report, e-newsletters, web site, video productions, media outreach, and special events.
general activities of the united way, which contribute to building community coalitions and supporting community planning, are accounted for in the community building program.