SIDNEY — “2017 was a successful and impactful year from multiple standpoints,” said Scott Barr, Shelby County United Way director.”We are expecting campaign revenues to surpass $1,350,000, an increase over the previous year’s campaign. We launched multiple successful volunteer initiatives. Student United Way started in the fall. We awarded funds to approximately 40 local organizations changing lives for more than 11,000 residents throughout the county.”
His report continues:
In June, Shelby County United Way participated in the national “Day of Action.” This event connects volunteer groups to service projects in the community. Over 14 companies participated with 214 employees providing 856.5 volunteer project hours to the community. Projects were completed at the Sidney Theater, Ross Historical Society, Anna District Historical Society, Clear Creek Farms, four community parks, Graceland Cemetery, Job and Family Services, New Choices, Family Resource Center, Salvation Army and a downtown clean up project. Contact me at 937-492-2101 or [email protected] if your company is interested in participating in 2018.
In collaboration with our women’s initiative, POWER, a kindergarten tutoring program was expanded from one day a week at Longfellow to now placing volunteers in five school buildings at two school districts on a daily basis. Over 12 companies are allowing employees to volunteer one day a week or one day every other week. Each week there are 65 of slots to cover. We have some spots still available. Contact Amy West at 937-492-2101 or [email protected]
During the fall, Student United Way was launched. One junior and one senior from every high school in the county is participating. They meet once a month to learn what programs the United Way funds and what are some of the primary community issues facing Shelby County. They have been provided a $5,000 allocation budget and during the spring will review and award grants impacting youth in Shelby County.
Character Playbook-Building Healthy Relationships is starting a second school year. The digital course uses evidence-based strategies to educate students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships during their critical middle school years. It is comprised of six modules that cover key concepts of positive character development, social-emotional learning (SEL), and building healthy relationships. Last school year we were the only county in Ohio that had 100 percent participation from all public schools in the county. This year, at least eight of our 10 high schools will implement the curriculum.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library completed a third year. The early education literacy program delivers monthly, age appropriate books to the homes of Shelby County children. Currently 2,358 children (67 percent) in the county are enrolled and to date, over 60,000 books have been mailed. This program is funded by many community partners and Wilson Health enrolls infants at the birthing center. Parents are encouraged to visit imaginationlibrary.com and click on REGISTER MY CHILD or visit any of the local libraries in Shelby County.
211 Helpline was launched in Shelby County January 1, 2017 averaging three calls per day. The 211 information and referral hotline is answered 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. The hotline more easily connects residents to available community resources. The trained operators will be able to provide callers with phone numbers, hours of operation and qualifications for various programs available for such diverse programs as counseling, senior programming and utility assistance. The Shelby County United Way, along with the city of Sidney, County Commissioners, Board of DD, Health Department, Job and Family Services, and Tri County Board of Recovery are funding this service.
The Shelby County United Way is anticipating an upbeat 2018 from a campaign standpoint as the local economy continues to improve.