Shelby County United Way continues to unite for change



A family glider is one of the pieces of playground equipment at the Kiwanis Rotary All-Inclusive Park at Tawawa Park.

Courtesy photo

SIDNEY — “2019 was a successful year with our campaign,” said Scott Barr, Shelby County United Way president. “We are projecting revenues to surpass $1.35 million. For the fifth time in the past six years we received the highest rating from Charity Navigator as a top performing non-profit agency and Local United Way.”

Just over 19,000 (two out of every five) residents were served last year through our 27 partner agencies and many more through Special Projects, POWER, and Student United Way grants.

His report continues:

2019 was a unique and rewarding year based on three projects the board of directors had the opportunity to support, in addition to our continued support of the great partner agencies and programs we fund annually.

First, The Shelby County United Way gave a lead gift of $40,000 to help launch the campaign to build an inclusive park for all families with all different abilities. This park was dedicated in the fall of 2019 next to Geib Pavilion in Tawawa Park with support, leadership, donations and in-kind services from many individuals, service clubs and businesses.

Two grants totaling $20,000, one from the Shelby County United Way and one from POWER were awarded to Wilson Health’s the Future is Clear campaign to bring the newest in 3-D imaging technology for breast examinations to Shelby County. The new technology was installed in the fall.

The board awarded a $15,000 grant to the Lake Loramie Improvement Association to support the adaptive boat launch project. The United Way grant helped with the completion of phase two of the project, including the purchasing of an adaptive family glider.

In June, Shelby County United Way participated in the national “Day of Action.” This event connects company volunteer groups to service projects in the community. We saw a significant increase in volunteers and hours donated. Over 24 companies and organizations participated with 337 employees providing over 1,400 volunteer project hours to the community. Projects were completed at Clear Creek Farm, Ohio Living Dorothy Love, Graceland Cemetery, Bon-Air Triangle, the OSU Extension Office, Whittier Pre-School, Board of DD offices, the United Way office, seven community parks, the Shelby County Courthouse and a downtown clean-up project. Please contact me at 937-492-2101 or if your company is interested in participating in 2020.

Our women’s initiative group, POWER continues to grow in membership and impact. Membership now exceeds 108 ladies. POWER coordinates the volunteers that are placed in kindergarten classrooms as tutors. Currently there are 51 volunteers filling 46 weekly slots. During the summer they awarded $25,000 in grants to family, youth, and school-based organizations. In the spring they hold their signature event, POWER of the Purse Champagne Lunch and Fashion Show. The event this year is Saturday, April 18. Please contact Amy West at 937-492-2101 or to become a POWER member, a kindergarten tutor, or learn more about the luncheon.

Student United Way is completing a third year. 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 $10,000.00 allocation budget and during the spring will review and award grants impacting youth in Shelby County.

Shelby County leads the state of Ohio in Dolly Parton Imagination Library participation at 69 percent. Over 2,400 children receive books monthly and 114,834 books have been mailed since the launch in March 2015. The Shelby County libraries and many other funders support this program and Wilson Health enrolls new babies at the birthing center.

The Shelby County United Way is anticipating another strong campaign in 2020. Thanks to the compassion and kindness of our community.


A family glider is one of the pieces of playground equipment at the Kiwanis Rotary All-Inclusive Park at Tawawa Park. family glider is one of the pieces of playground equipment at the Kiwanis Rotary All-Inclusive Park at Tawawa Park. Courtesy photo photo