United Way needs up-funds down


It’s a classic "Catch 22" situation. As the economy worsens, fewer people are able to donate to
charitable causes, but more people are in need of the services offered.
Local United Way allocations are about $1 million shy this year compared to last year – a sign of the
stressful economic times, according to agency officials.
"Fundraising is a real challenge," said Mike George, director of United Way in Wood County.
"People who were giving to us last year, are calling us for help this year."
Numbers have greatly increased for people needing help with the necessities – food, shelter and clothing.

"It’s been a tough year. We feel the pain as everyone else does," said George of the decrease
in United Way allocations from $13 million to $12 million this year. "But in the middle of this
financial crisis, to come up with the amount we did says a lot for the communities we live in."
Today, United Way officially announced how its funding will be divided, with $385,000 going to Wood
County agencies.
A shift was seen with United Way’s new "Agenda for Change," which focuses on education, income
and health, with a foundation of community outreach and essential services.
And with the economic woes seen in the region, United Way is also investing in the financial stability of
local residents. For the first time, the agency is working with WSOS Community Action Commission on a
financial stability program designed to educate people on how to manage money.
"Simple things like opening a bank account aren’t simple for people who have never done that
before," George said.
The program is intended to help people make better choices about their finances.
"We just want to make sure people are making the best decisions possible," George said.
The "Agenda for Change" stresses such collaboration between agencies, according to Kelli Kreps,
public relations specialist with United Way of Greater Toledo. "Pulling together is not an option
right now. It’s a necessity," Kreps said.
"Collaboration is key because the resources are dwindling," George said.
This year’s allocations for Wood County programs include:
¥ Adolescent and Adult Maintaining Sobriety, Behavioral Connections of Wood County, $25,000
¥ Adult Primary Care Contract, Wood County Health Department, $32,000
¥ Basic Needs Assistance Contract, Kings Daughters and Sons/Silver Cross Circle, $3,000
¥ DELTA Project, Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center, $29,287
¥ Emergency safe housing, Cocoon Shelter, $25,000
¥ Help Me Grow/Parents as Teachers, Wood County Health Department, $35,000
¥ The Link, Behavioral Connections of Wood County, $21,773
¥ Out-of-School STARS, Community Learning Centers of Wood County, $68,000
¥ Parenting education, Children’s Resource Center, $29,860
¥ Personal care contract, Wood County Health Department, $9,000
¥ Preschool Sexual Abuse Prevention Project, Children’s Resource Center, $20,953
¥ United Way 2-1-1 in Wood County, $25,000
¥ Wood County Fun Bus, YMCA of Greater Toledo, $50,000
¥ WSOS Financial Stability, WSOS Community Action Commission, $10,689

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