An 8:00 a.m. breakfast Friday at the Logan County Fairgrounds on August 27 doubled to serve as both the kickoff to United Way's 68th Annual Campaign and the launch of the organization's Community Care Day corporate volunteer event. From there, United Way hopes to raise $1 million by the end of the year. And 270 volunteers from more than three dozen workplaces and groups worked to complete pre-coordinated service projects throughout the county by the end of the day.
United Way is aiming to raise $1 million before year-end to support its fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Logan County. Logan County is the smallest community in Ohio to raise $1 million for its local United Way and has done so three years in a row. Donors primarily give through payroll deduction at work, or online.
United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of everyone in Logan County. It does it by working with its 32 funded agencies, corporate, and governement partners to identify and fill the biggest gaps in the local social service network. For instance,
Mental Health and Substance Abuse were cited in the 2021 Community Needs Assessment as the top two issues facing Logan County. With United Way funding, Recovery Zone offers a peer support center that provides a safe haven for people healing from mental health and addiction. TCN Behavioral Health screens every Logan County 6th and 9th grader for mental health and substance abuse so those who score high can get help. Logan County CORE works on prevention measures. And the Bellefontaine Police Department and Logan County Sheriff's Office conduct community events that help each law enforcement agency develop relationships and connections to fight drugs and crime.
The need for more affordable housing and homeless services exist in Logan County. The Logan County Homeless Shelter housed 54 people last year, but had to turn away 120 because of a lack of space and resources. United Way's formal partnership with Caring Kitchen in Urbana allows the Champaign County shelter to serve as an overflow when our shelter is full. United Way's Housing Stability Program provides rent and utility help to prevent homeless situations.
Workforce issues haunt so many employers who are working to hire and retain help. In the LIVE UNITED @ WORK Financial Wellness program, a licensed social worker is embedded in eight local workplaces to meet one-on-one with employees about non-work related issues. To help working families, United Way awarded a record $30,000 grant to the YMCA of Central Ohio last month to open a Five-Star Quality child care center in Bellefontaine this fall to help with the shortage of affordable child care. United Way partners with the Logan County Collaborative to support the 3E campaign in the schools to encourage high school students to be exploring their post high school employment, education, or enlisting options.
Chronic health, proper diet, and nutrition are concerns. United Way funded programs served 1.3 million meals to 7,000 unduplicated Logan County residents last year.
A dozen volunteers forming a "Million Dollar Roundtable" will be assisting United Way in achieving its fundraising goal this fall. They include: Deb Baker, Bellefontaine resident; Austin Bernath, Richwood Banking Company; Kyle Brunner, Citizens Federal Savings & Loan; Megan Cauley, Transportation Research Center; Bethany Harman, Richwood Banking Company; Carmen LeVan, Mary Rutan Hospital; Ashley Oakley, Logan County Electric Cooperative; Deb Orr, Mary Rutan Hospital; Jessica Simmons, AmeriPrise Financial; Sarah Warren, Logan County Prosecutor's Office; and Kelsey Webb, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center.
Donors can give to the 2021 United Way campaign via payroll deduction at work, online, or by texting UWLOGAN to 44321.