Impact Spotlights often take a deep dive into an area of United Way's work in education, income or health. But, with the campaign complete and the holiday season approaching, United Way chose to take the opportunity at the November presentation to thank donors for their contributions and share stories that demonstrate the impact of their gifts in the community.
Barb Terry, vice president of community impact and "MC" of the afternoon, kicked off the presentation by sharing how even though our community is rallying behind the Bold Goals for Our Region, they won't work unless we all recognize the interconnectedness of the underlying community problems that the goals address. The stories shared during the presentation were unique in that the issues that each person has had to overcome intersect among many of the different Bold Goals areas, not just one.
Kevin is an environmental service aid with Tri-Health and a current participant in the Health Careers Collaborative. While working at the hospital, he realized that he wanted to do more with his life. He found a career coach within the hospital who recognized Kevin's potential and strong work ethic. She connected him to the HCC and he is now on track to graduate with a degree in nursing. "I am going to do something different," he said.
Ten years ago, Suzanne was homeless and addicted to heroine. After hitting rock bottom, Suzanne knew she had to get her life on track and entered a long road toward sobriety and recovery. She became pregnant and she and her husband were referred to Every Child Succeeds, a United Way partner agency that provides quality home visitation services to at risk families. Suzanne credits ECC for the fact that today Dillon is a happy and healthy four and a half year old. Not only is Dillon thriving, but Suzanne is clean and sober, and employed by Carocole, another United Way partner agency, as a case manager. "I was a recipient of United Way services, and now I'm a contributor," said Suzanne. "I'm grateful for the privilege of working with people to help them reach their goals and dreams."
Dwayne found Cincinnati Works after being fired from his job and experiencing financial insecurity. After graduating from the Cincinnati Works job advancement program, Dwayne has new focus and purpose to his life and career, and on his way toward economic self-sufficiency. He received training on resume-building interview skills, worked with a financial coach to establish a budget and financial goals, and was introduced to a business coach to help him with his janitorial business he runs part-time. Dwayne was proud to announce that he recently obtained a new job at DHL and is working his way toward advancement within the company.
Mary Asbury is the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, and offered a service-provider perspective the presentation. Legal Aid provides legal assistance to adults and children to work through any legal issues that might be barriers to their success. Mary expressed her gratitude and appreciation to the United Way donors, advocates and volunteers in the room who help agencies like Legal Aid do the work they do. Mary also shared an email written to one of Legal Aid's paralegals from a client who was a victim of domestic violence. The former client shared how grateful she was for the help she received when she felt like no one else cared. She was so inspired by her experience at Legal Aid that she enrolled in college and is on her way to becoming a paralegal.
After the presentations were completed, guests in the room were invited to stand and comment on what they heard or share their own personal story for how United Way has made an impact on their lives or the lives of family and friends.
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