Keisha Stone-West works at Bush Recreation Center in Walnut Hills and she’s always looking for fun, safe activities in the community for children. When she heard about United Way of Greater Cincinnati teaming with Green Man Twist in Walnut Hills to give out free ice cream, she knew this would be a great opportunity to engage the children of Bush Recreation Center with the community.
"It felt good to have the ‘community’ feel back, and to let the kids know that we can have good, clean fun without any issues. Adults need to see this and know that they should do it more!” said Stone-West.
The event took place on Thursday, July 19, and served as United Way’s inaugural “Community United” event, with the aim of meeting community members where they are and raising awareness of poverty’s impact on our region.
“We want to begin communicating and connecting with the families, children and individuals that we raise money and support for, and that’s why we’re out here today,” said Michael Johnson, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
At the Green Man Twist event, United Way gave away 228 free ice cream cones, 50 backpacks stuffed with books for children and families, 100 pairs of sunglasses and had a myriad of conversations with children and families in the community.
"When our community sees United Way leading this effort and bringing people together, others in our community might want to help too," said Stone-West.
TAKING IT ON THE ROAD
While Green Man Twist was the first Community United event, the concept will be taken on the road as United Way launches its annual fall campaign in August. Replacing the traditional one-day kickoff event, these Community United events include an initial 10-stop tour to communities in each of the 10 counties United Way serves.
“At United Way, we unite communities to change lives,” Johnson said. “I’m excited to take part in these events and live that idea, not just in the impact we make, but also through the people we meet, the conversations we have and the places where we spend our time.”
Events include pop-up style community conversations open to the public throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana set for Aug. 16-25.
“We’re going to talk about serious issues, but we’re also going to have fun,” Johnson said. “We want to tell you a little about United Way, but we also want to hear from you. If we’re going to make a difference, we must get to know each other and work together.”
10 counties. 10 days. We're coming to your area and we hope to see you there!
We’re serving up conversation, connection and change.
Starting August 16th, join us at local businesses for the pop-up event series: Community United. Let's get to know each other better.
Learn how you can unite for a movement and make a difference in our community.
Let us know you're coming! Select the location below to RSVP on Facebook.
A united community is: WHAT? Fill in the blank via social media using #CommunityUnited and see what others are saying!
Thursday, August 16 - Rohs Street Cafe (Hamilton Co.)
245 W. McMillan St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
7:30am - 9am
Friday, August 17 - Fort Thomas Coffee (Campbell Co.)
118 N. Ft. Thomas Ave, Fort Thomas, KY 41075
11am - 1pm
Saturday, August 18 - Velocity Bike and Bean (Boone Co.)
7560 Burlington Pike, Florence, KY 41042
1pm - 3pm
Sunday, August 19 - Braxton Brewery (Kenton Co.)
27 W. 7th St, Covington, KY 41011
12:30pm - 2pm
Monday, August 20 - Triple Moon Coffee Company (Middletown)
1100 Central Ave, Middletown, OH 45044
11am - 1pm
Tuesday, August 21 - Country Inn Restaurant (Brown Co.)
290 Brooks-Malott Rd, Mt. Orab, OH 45154
11am - 1pm
Wednesday, August 22 - The Levee Bar & Grill
51 Walnut St, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025
11am - 1pm
Thursday, August 23 - Little Miami Brewing Company (Clermont Co.)
208 Mill St, Milford, OH 45150
5pm - 6:30pm
Friday, August 24 - Main Street Diner (Ohio Co.)
228 Main St, Rising Sun, IN 47040
4pm - 5:30pm
Saturday, August 25 - Beans Cafe and Bakery (Grant Co.)
21 Taft Hwy, Dry Ridge, KY 41035
10am - 11:30am
Johnson said he'll also show up in places like recreation centers, barbershops, places of worship and more to talk about United Way's work throughout the year.