United Way of Monroe County is starting the new year with several new projects and events while reflecting on its successes from 2018.
The organization addresses the needs of communities in Monroe, Owen and Green counties, focusing on education, employment and basic essentials.
United Way’s annual fundraising campaign, which began in the fall, will run through the end of February. So far, the organization raised $1,014,000.
Donations go toward 25 different agencies each year. This money, along with other resources and support United Way provides, assists numerous initiatives that the organization works with. These include school readiness, employment, financial knowledge, meal services, mortgage assistance and mental health aid.
“These agencies and collaborations ensure that in our community, everyone has the opportunity to learn more, earn more, and lead safer and healthier lives,” said Zachary Thomas, United Way’s assistant director of resource development. “The work is very volunteer-driven.”
United Way is also moving office locations from 441 S. College Ave. to 431 S. College Ave. this March. Employees are scheduling events for the community after the move to get more citizens involved in service projects and educated more about specific issues, Thomas said.
The 2018 “United We Win” campaign, a way to get more non-profits involved with United Way, was supported by donations from the City of Bloomington, IU Credit Union and Old National Bank. United Way also wrapped up its year-end giving campaign.
Hannah Hirsch, administrative coordinator, said initiatives like these have a great influence on the community.
“These donations and programs help people meet critical needs,” she said.
One of the organization’s other 2018 highlights was the first Member Agency Talent Showcase in October. Staff members and volunteers shared their talents at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater as a way to bring more attention to the organization and get more citizens involved.
“We hope to continue this program next year and into the future so that community members can have a fun way to get to know the people who work every day to make our community a great place to live for all,” Thomas said.
IU was involved with United Way in 2018 as well. IU employees were a part of the annual giving campaign, setting a goal of raising $830,000 by the end of February.
Efrat Feferman, executive director of Monroe County United Way, joined last year and has been an integral part of the organization, Thomas said. As United Way is wrapping up its 2018 campaigns, staff members are looking forward to more successes in the new year.
“Since she has come aboard, we have had a lot of discussion about our role in the community,” Thomas said. “It has been exciting to be part of the discussion for how we can go forward in a changing world and ensure that every community member in Monroe, Owen and Greene counties can thrive.”
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