Women United affinity group of United Way of Knox County, Ohio
Newsletter September & October 2020
If you have not renewed your membership for 2020, Please take moment to do so by clicking the Women United Dues link below and selecting the membership level of your choice.
Stay up-to-date with Women United events and activities by visiting our website and Facebook.

to all Winners so far from
Silent Auction Sunday &
$5 Buck Friday
Continue to donate to $5 Buck Friday for chances to win weekly through December 2020! www.uwayknox.org/fridays
Keep bidding on Silent Auction Sunday items through December 2020! www.uwayknox.org/sundays
School Supply Support
Back to School Boost for Elementary School Children

For the past several years, the members of Women United have gathered in a “Stuff the Bookbags” event, where we literally stuff book bags. Ladies of Women United filled the bags with much needed schools supplies and distributed them to partners who made sure the bags were given to students in need. Our ladies understand that starting school equipped with appropriate supplies is essential. This can be boost that helps a student start the year strong, confident, and ready to learn.

This school year may look and feel a lot different than the ones that have come before it. Instead of predicting the supplies that this year’s students might need or expecting families to wait in line with other families to receive a backpack, we adapted our methods to meet the need in Knox County.
Using the same budget traditionally reserved for this project, Women United purchased Staples gift cards to provide to each of the ten public Elementary Schools in Knox County. We asked the principals and teachers to use the cards to help purchase supplies for students who need it. We partnered with teachers to help the students who arrived at school without the supplies that they need to be successful this school year.
When A Plan Comes Together
I know, you always see my posts or hear me say “I love my job” all of the time. Here is just another example of why we love our work at United Way and how we value our relationship, not only with our community but also our community partners. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Rhonda was in a quandary. She was planning a move from Danville to Mount Vernon but had just recently broken both of her wrists. She did not know how she was going to get her home packed for the movers. She phoned United Way and reached Dee. Dee was truly touched by Rhonda’s story and asked United Way director, Kelly Brenneman, “what can we do to help?”

Five years ago, United Way founded Women United, an affinity group of United Way of Knox County. One of their many projects is to support women in recovery from substance abuse. Women in recovery often have community service hours they need to complete. Kelly thought that a couple of these ladies might enjoy helping senior citizen Rhonda pack up her boxes for the move. Kelly quickly went to work reaching out to her friend Amy, owner of Riverside Recovery Services. Amy agreed that this could be an enjoyable service project.

Riverside Recovery Services arranged for two volunteers, Leighanna and Stephanie, to head to Danville the next day. The evening following the project, a Riverside Recovery employee informed United Way that Rhonda has called the office to report a successful day of moving. “She had nothing but great things to say about Leighanna and Stephanie. She complimented how hard they worked and she hadn’t had that much help in years. She also requested they come back again and help on Wednesday.” It was also learned that Rhonda was a retired court employee, who seen women struggle with addiction through her role at the courts. Rhonda said it felt good to see Leighanna and Stephanie given the opportunity to help people in the community and see them fight for their sobriety. 

United Way loves it when a plan comes together.

Since 2015, members of Women United have raised over $200,000.00 through their annual Power of the Purse Fundraisers, to invest in projects for women and children in Knox County.
Power of the Purse Goes Virtual

Covid-19 has changed everything and you can add Women United’s annual fundraiser to this list.

In January, Patty Workman and Erica Taylor were busy planning the annual Women United’s Fundraiser, the Power of the Purse. Invitations were sent out, purses were donated, tables were reserved, the venue was secure, then COVID hit in March and everything came to a halt. There was only one thing to do, take lemons and make delicious, safe, lemonade for all to enjoy.

From October 11th to the 16th, Women United partnered with Jagger Auctioneers to hold a virtual Power of the Purse. It was a safe, fun way to hold the auction during this unprecedented time. It was a success as well. Women United's Power of the Purse fundraiser raised close to $5,000.00. Purses were mostly sold locally but one was purchased by a lady in Columbus, Mississippi. She said she follows our local United Way page and saw our fundraiser. She decided to have some fun and bid. She also will be using her version this fundraiser for a group she belongs to in her home state. Is Women United a trendsetter or what?

The funds raised from Power of the Purse will be used to help fund Ruling our Experiences (ROX) students in Knox County schools in 2020.

Thank you to all that participated in this years online version of Power of the Purse! 20 new purses were auctioned off online during the virtual event.

Knox Public Health WIC
Milk Drop - Breast Milk Donation
From left, Heidi Myers, Breastfeeding Peer Helper with the WIC program at Knox Public Health, and members of Women United, Shelly Coon and Jonette Curry. Women United members, Shelley and Jonette, represented the group at Knox County WIC with donated breast milk that was donated by community members and shipped from Knox Public Health to the OhioHealth Mother’s Milk Bank.

This milk donation totaled more than 150 oz. and will be used for medically-fragile babies and those babies whose mothers cannot produce milk. Just 1 oz. of donated milk can provide nutrition to three pre-mature babies for a day. The WIC program at Knox Public Health is one of just 11 milk drop locations in Ohio. For more information on the milk bank, contact Heidi Myers at hmyers@knoxhealth.com or visit the WIC page on our website at www.knoxhealth.com

Women United provided the funding to purchase the freezer to store the donated milk.

We are also loving Shelley's LIVE UNITED face mask which serves as a reminder to LIVE UNITED safely!
Amy Smart with Riverside Recovery -
Working To Get Women Working
A Service Program for ALL Knox County Women
Christmas Decorations
As you prepare for the upcoming holidays, we ask Women United members that if you are cleaning out your holiday decorations and want to donate any items. Please consider dropping them off to the United Way office. The items that we collect will be provided to local women's recovery residences to add cheer to their holidays.