FINDLAY, OH (June 5, 2020) There are so many opportunities for fracture, discontent and hardships in our world. These stories often scream for our attention while the positive and praiseworthy stories are quietly undervalued, with little fanfare. In my role with the United Way of Hancock County, I’m hit daily with the reality of huge unemployment rates, the immediate needs of our community and the forecasts of what it means for tomorrow. If that were the fullness of the story, it could be bleak. The collected data and stats aren’t the end, but tools that measure our needs in order to rally us to impactful action. That action has been a source of hope that I’d like to share going forward.

UWHC’s ongoing role is to examine the needs of Hancock County residents then raise and deploy resources to meet those needs. Our donors want the largest possible impact for their contributions, which often means getting funds where they’re most needed, reducing duplication of services, and identifying gaps or barriers in a holistic way. Their past donations have supported agencies that respond well to community needs and have effectively worked in the current crisis without missing a beat. In the past three months our community has stepped up in a big way, donating over $100K for local crisis response and we’ve directed those donations to support essential programs helping our neighbors. Local financial contributions, when combined with other resources help hundreds of families each week get food or stabilize families by preventing homelessness. Over 700 volunteer hours have added to our resource availability– increasing our partner agencies’ capacity at a time when many regular volunteers weren’t available.

Our partnerships have functioned very well and new partnerships have arisen to unite us in our concern for others. Agencies, government organizations at the county and city levels, and Hancock County’s faith-based community have been meeting together to address emerging needs and put plans in place to minimize many worst-case scenarios. We’ve stretched local dollars with communication and direction of folks to state and federal dollars first. College students are volunteering to assist in grant research and writing that plans to bring more outside funding into Hancock County.

No matter our income level, the number of people we know or our abilities, we all have the capacity to give, model caring, and look out for one another. This is a generous community and that’s what we focus on daily.

If you need a few suggestions to use your time, talent and treasure to continue helping a friend, a neighbor, or another in need, call our offices at 419-423-1432 to explore options with me or our Volunteer Center. 

I’m choosing to find peace and encouragement in the positive, excellent and praiseworthy actions around me. And, I hope you do too.