GUEST COLUMN: Dollars stay local to Make a Difference

By Angela DeBoskey

We live in a community of Difference Makers.

From my unique vantage point as CEO of the United Way of Hancock County, I see the best our community has to offer. I see nonprofit leaders putting their heads together to find lasting solutions to the most difficult of challenges; I see volunteers freely giving their time and talents to improve our neighborhoods; and I see government leaders pulling together in times of crisis. Amid all this, I see a citizenship dedicated to caring for one another.

As UWHC's Annual Campaign picks up steam, we are focused on the individual Difference Makers who partner with us in our mission: To measurably improve the lives of vulnerable children, families and individuals in Hancock County. Donors can rest assured that every penny raised here stays here to support critical services utilized by 1 in 4 residents of Hancock County.

Whether your area of concern lies in access to health care or a quality education; safe, reliable housing and transportation; prevention, counseling and rehabilitation efforts; disaster response; financial stability or workforce development, there is a United Way-supported program working toward a solution. I know this because I hear the success stories of people like Mark and Kate.

Mark is a hard-working employee at a local factory. His supervisors were immediately impressed by his work ethic, but noticed that he seemed to be struggling. After pulling him aside and sharing their concern, Mark revealed that he and his children were living in their vehicle. His employer reached out to us at UWHC, and we were able to connect Mark to some United Way-funded programs. With their help, Mark and his family now have safe housing and are on the path to a more stable future.

Kate is a single mom who had never been unemployed in adulthood. Recent changes in the economy left her among the one-third of Hancock County residents living at or below the federal poverty level, and with no savings, Kate worried about feeding her kids. We connected her to local food security resources, along with unemployment aid that she did not know was available. Kate wasn’t unemployed long and is now back on her feet — she just needed a little help along the way.

These are just a few examples of the inspiring work United Way-supported programs carry out every day and it is made possible by the Difference Makers who sacrifice a little so our partner agencies can help a lot.

We have set an ambitious goal of raising upward of $2 million this campaign season. I urge you, if you are able, to make a pledge or a one-time donation to our fundraising efforts. That donation will be put to work right here in Hancock County and will help make lasting change in the life of someone who needs it most.

DeBoskey is CEO of the United Way of Hancock County.

(This column appeared in the Findlay Courier on Sept. 30, 2022)