32 Years ago, United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Enquirer collaborated on a community-driven effort to help families during the holiday season. The partnership was two-fold: United Way would serve as the financial entity to collect and distribute funds to deserving families through partner agencies in our 10 county region; and the Enquirer would publish stories each week to inform the community of the needs these families had.
What started then as an effort to see how many families could be helped by a micro-campaign led by two organizations dedicated to serving the Greater Cincinnati community has since helped over 300 families receive much needed assistance. Families like Kim Yocum’s, who is featured this year in our Wish List campaign. Kim lost her right leg due to pulmonary and coronary artery disease, and struggles to get around to maintain the self-sufficiency she desires. She has undergone over 21 angiograms and misses being able to do simple tasks such as climbing up her 2 front porch steps. Kim is hoping to receive a banister and a chair lift to help her navigate this new challenge.
Or families like Abdul Shakir Al-lateef, a homeless father who is separated from his wife and raising 7 of their 9 children. Abdul wants to get back to work but needs reliable transportation in order to do so. Transportation continues to be one of the leading barriers for families in our region to obtain and sustain employment and economic sufficiency. Abdul has goals of starting a program at the Freestore Foodbank that will allow him to complete his diploma and receive on the job training, once he obtains reliable transportation.
We are so grateful to our colleagues at the Cincinnati Enquirer for helping us bring the Wish List to life every year, and for valuing this effort as much as we do. Michael Betz, Head of Marketing and Communications for The Enquirer and Cincinnati.com, had this to say: “We value our partnership with the United Way to help people in the community. After our very first Wish List story this year, someone reached out and wanted to help the featured family. That speaks to the heart of Greater Cincinnati.”
We wholeheartedly agree.
If you’d like to support this year’s Wish List campaign, there’s still time. You can find the story links and donation information at www.uwgc.org/wishlist.