Friday, January 18, 2008

See the results everywhere

By Stacey Oelrich, Communications Director

As you wait in line for your morning coffee you hear a woman talking on her cell phone. She’s finally starting to work her way out of debt, and learning how to budget so she doesn’t have to live paycheck to paycheck.

At the office, the receptionist is concerned about her brother who was laid off and not sure how he’ll get his children dental care. You come home to a message on your answering machine. Your sister’s husband was violent towards her and she went to a safe place.

All of these situations have one thing in common: your friends, family and neighbors found help from United Way funded programs.

We’ve found that one in four people in the Marshfield area has used a United Way Partner Program. So, if you haven’t used one, chances are you know someone who has.

These programs shape our community with the work they do. They work to address Marshfield area’s most critical needs. Programs identify and get to the heart of each situation, so individuals and families can make lasting change instead of settling for a quick fix.

And their results are every where in the community. You can see the results in the full pantry of a family who previously went hungry. They were connected with Soup or Socks and were given help to make ends meet.

A family that lost their home to fire or natural disaster receives help from many programs in our community. But their first contact is American Red Cross (ARC). ARC also provides support and services to families who have service men and women overseas.

United Way programs give youth in our area confidence, mentor opportunities, safe activities and much more. The skills youth learn can help them throughout their lives to make good decisions. This is all possible because of the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts-Samoset Council, Camp Courage, Girl Scouts of Woodland Council, Lutheran Social Services, Pathway Partners, Spencer Kids Group, Stratford Homework Club and Youth Net.

And in 2008, United Way is funding five programs for the first time. These programs are Chippewa Valley Boy Scouts, bringing scouting opportunities to the Neillsville area; Family Resource Center, a program of Children’s Service Society; The Genesis Room, a program of Mary’s Place; Lifelong Learning Opportunities and Safe Exchange/Supervised Visitation, a program of Personal Development Center.

Your generosity reaches residents here at home by targeting the needs identified by volunteers in the community. Your contributions stay here in the Marshfield area, which includes North Wood County, Southwestern Marathon County and parts of Clark County.

Just as we say thank you to all United Way’s contributors, we recognize and thank all the people who work at and with Partner Programs. We’re proud of the work you do improving lives and strengthening our community.

The programs mentioned are only a few of United Way’s 39 funded programs. To learn more about these programs, United Way or how you can volunteer visit or call 394-9992.