United Way has supported our community since 1929. We support local agencies and organizations that are focused on: 1) helping those in need, 2) assisting the elderly, and 3) providing guidance, activities and support for our children. Our agencies provide service throughout Washington County.
This year we are excited to add three great new local organizations. The Washington County Harvest of Hope is focused on feeding the hungry. The Washington County Free Clinic offers health care services to people that would otherwise go without basic health care. The Cutler Community Center operates a facility available for enrichment activities for area residents.
People in Washington County continue to struggle. Some people are hungry, while others suffer from the effects of substance abuse or an abusive relationship. Families face difficult financial decisions and wonder how they will be able to pay their bills while providing for the needs of their children. Many of our senior citizens have needs that are not being met. Area children sit idle as their families cannot afford to pay to participate in the many healthy activities we often take for granted.
Fortunately, Washington County is blessed with people that care. Hundreds of volunteers selflessly work to help meet the needs of their neighbors. They join with the 17 agencies supported by the United Way of Washington County and other groups to create a network of support. It takes thousands of volunteer hours to meet these needs.
I would like to share with you some of the stories of how the funds you have contributed have helped people in our county. The stories our agencies tell are compelling.
The YMCA uses United Way funds to provide free services to children in need. They tell the story of a 9-year-old whose father passed away from a heart attack. The YMCA opened its doors to this child and his mother, helping them through a difficult time. The Caring Connection was able to help a divorced person with no income to cover prescription costs while she found employment, which now allows her to be self supporting. Eve Inc. provided a safe place for a mother who was physically attacked by her husband. The mother and three children spent 70 days in the shelter. Eve programs have helped the family cope with the trauma associated with this situation. The Mid-Ohio Valley Fellowship Home helped a young lady who was dealing with substance abuse. Her dependency was causing her life and family to fall apart. The home helped her get past these problems and remain sober. She has now returned to college where she has hopes and dreams that she could never have imagined before.
I am proud to live and work in Washington County and honored to have been involved with the United Way for many years. I urge you to get involved with United Way by making a contribution or volunteering your time. We all play a part in making Washington County a great place for all. Live United!
For more information or to find out how to contribute or volunteer visit our new website www.wahingtoncountyuw.net, or call Mary Anne Bush, executive director, (740) 373-3333.
Jeff Welch is president of United Way of Washington County.