Small local nonprofit focused on bettering community conditions and creating a healthy and safe environment for all.
My charity of choice is the United Way of Oxford County. This organization has been in existence for almost 30 years and in that time has invested around 1.5 million dollars in a small rural county in Maine. Every United Way is individually incorporated and run by a local board of directors. Many people do not realize that their local United Way is a separate entity from the national United Way. United Way of Oxford County has one staff person, their Executive Director. She works tirelessly to reach out into the community and is looking to bring programs that will create lasting change. Oxford County, Maine is a rural county made up of many small towns. In 2010 it was listed as the least healthy county in the state of Maine. Many organizations came together in response to start to work to make Oxford County a healthier county, and a greta place to live, work, and play. United Way of Oxford County has joined in this effort and is putting a lot of resources towards promoting health and wellness. It plays a large role in the Oxford County Wellness Collaborative, an organization made up of community members, businesses, and other nonprofits who are all working together to create a healthier Oxford County. Most recently, the Wellness Collaborative have started to dig deeper by making strategy maps that will incorporate measures and track real outcomes of initiatives created to improve community conditions. United Way of Oxford County has played a big role in this phase. This small nonprofit is also involved in other initiatives such as their Food Pantry Project where they coordinate food drives with local businesses and donate all items to local food pantries. So far in 2015 they have donated around 400 pounds of food through this initiative. This past summer they also ran a Backpack Project. Through donations from local businesses and foundations, United Way of Oxford County was able to stuff around 450 backpacks full of school supplies and donate them to the 5 school districts in the county. They also are planning to bring in some new projects in 2016. One is called the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. This program will mail a book to a child age 0-5 every month. By the time they enter into kindergarten the child will receive 60 books. The literacy rates in Oxford County are shockingly low and this program will be a step in the right direction to have kids get excited about reading and learning. United Way of Oxford County is currently in talks with partners to try to get this program up and running. The other project they are looking to bring to the county is a Diaper Drive. SNAP and WIC benefits do not include the purchase of diapers, which are very costly. The United Way of Oxford County will set up a day where there will be several donation locations and all diapers will be donated to organizations that work closely with families with young children. This organization truly does a lot of its local community. As a very small non-profit every donation makes such a difference for the community United Way of Oxford County serves. That's my giving story. I'm proud to support United Way of Oxford County. More information can be found at www.uwoxfordcounty.org.
Review from #MyGivingStory