United Way of Portage County
3rd Quarter Newsletter - August 2021
United Way Volunteer Asks for Your Support

Rich Wanders serves on the UWPC Campaign Committee and enjoys volunteering his time to help his neighbors in Portage County. Rich knows that our community faces many challenges: homelessness, hunger, abused children, vulnerable adults and the ongoing effects of the COVID pandemic.

Will you join Rich and United Way in fighting for the education, health and financial stability of every person in the community?

Please consider giving to UWPC to help change lives. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, stays right here in Portage County.
Together, we can all LIVE UNITED.

News from the CEO, Bill Childers:
Celebrate Portage! Cruise-In Returns
The Celebrate Portage! Cruise-In is returning to Ravenna TODAY, 8/4 !

The event was canceled last year because of the pandemic. Months later, Gary Krause, owner of Mongoose Motorsports, who had helped run the event since it was started in 2014, died of COVID-19. Gary Krause's widow Tricia Krause, who still owns Mongoose Motorsports, said she is organizing the event this year in tribute to her late husband. 

The event will take place between 5-9PM, Wednesday on East Main Street, between Linden and Bryn Mawr streets in Ravenna. The street will be closed starting at 3:30 p.m. to allow cars to get into place. Parking is first-come, first-served. Spectator parking also is available behind Portage Community Bank.
UWPC Announces Six New Board Members
United Way of Portage County (UWPC) is pleased to announce the appointment of six new board members: Pamela England, Ryan Hough, Lisa Kinter, Geraldine Hayes Nelson, Pastor Dennis Richey and Jennifer Schuller. These new directors will provide strategic direction for continued growth around United Way’s mission – to unite people and resources to improve the quality of life of families and individuals in Portage County.
“We are extremely grateful to welcome our new board members,” said Bill Childers, President and CEO of UWPC. “Each one of them provides our board with a unique background and perspective and we look forward to their experience and guidance this year.”
You can direct your contribution to one of the action areas - Education, Income and Health - or choose all three. As always, we will also process a restricted contribution to qualified 501(c)3 organizations.
You can make change happen with your voice. United Way needs people who are passionate about education, income and health to make some noise.
United Way and Volunteer Centers work with volunteers and local nonprofits to develop the best opportunities for youth, busy working adults and seniors.
Partner Agency Events

08/06/2021 - Big Brothers, Big Sisters - Golf Outing at Sugar Bush Golf Club

08/07/2021 - Coleman Professional Services - 5th Annual Coleman Cup

09/23/2021 - Coleman Professional Services - Still Right at Home

09/25/2021 - Kent Social Services Putt-R-Ball @ Birdie Shack

10/03/2021 - Kidney Foundation of Ohio Harvest Walk & 5K @ Mapleside Park in Brunswick

10/06/2021 - UWPC Campaign Kickoff @ Midway Drive In

10/23/2021 - Townhall II 50th Anniversary @ NEOMED

11/13/2021 - Habitat for Humanity Bi-Annual Gala @ NEOMED

11/14/2021 - Girls on the Run Fall 5k @ Cleveland Metropark Zoo
Pam England
Marketing Director - Portage Community Bank
Ryan Hough
Senior Vice President of Human Resources - Seven Seventeen Credit Union
Lisa Kinter
Nurse Manager of Nursing Operation and Patient Experience - UH Portage
Dr. Geraldine Hayes Nelson President - Portage County NAACP & Retired KSU
Pastor Dennis Richey
Winfield Church of God in Christ - Ravenna
Jennifer Schuller
Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations - Hiram College
Community Impact
Calling All Reading Role Models
Our Reading Role Model program is hoping to get back to reading to kindergarten classes in person in September! Reading dates will be posted on our new volunteer platform starting mid to late August. To learn more about the Reading Role Models program, click here
Community Impact Annual Grants
United Way's Community Impact Annual Grants are designed to identify and support the most effective and efficient programs to improve the education, financial stability and health resources for the residents of Portage County.

United Way is able to support these programs through our annual campaign. We are pleased to report that due to a successful campaign, we are able to fund all programs at the same level as last year, with no reductions despite the pandemic. Check out our website for a current list of our funded partner programs.
2021 Day of Caring
Thank you to all who participated in our 2021 Day of Caring! It was an awesome day with a total of 75 corporate and community volunteers joining together for a day of service to assist local non-profits that serve Portage County residents in need. Projects ranged from building a raised vegetable garden to teach children at Children’s Advantage about gardening; landscaping at Kentway Apartments and Safer Futures; assisting in a current home build for Habitat for Humanity of Portage County; and sorting through donated items at the Portage County Clothing Center.
Thank you to Portage Community Bank, Willoughby Supply Co., and AMETEK for sponsoring the event as well as volunteering.

We look forward to seeing you all next year! 
Mark your calendar on June 24, 2022 !!
Volunteers from Portage Community Bank volunteer with Habitat for Humanity to build a home
 Volunteers assisted Portage Park District on a variety of tasks including planting in our Morgan Park pollinator garden, packing program materials for Fish with a Cop, and folding brochures.
Volunteers at Children's Advantage build flower beds and landscape to help teach children how to garden
Resource Development
2020-2021 Campaign
Our "Inspiring Hope for a Better Tomorrow" annual campaign came to a close on June 30th. In May, an anonymous donor tasked us with a $10,000 Matching Gift Challenge. Every donation in May and June was matched up to $10,000 to end the campaign. With the help of 60+ donors, we raised a total of $31,780 during this challenge. Thank you to all for your support!

2021-2022 Campaign
July 1st launched the new campaign season! The UWPC workplace campaign unites employees in all offices and branches of a company, and gives them the opportunity to easily donate, through payroll deduction, volunteer for local agencies, and speak out for causes that matter to them. You can become a part of a larger mission and see the difference you make in the community.

Outreach is currently beginning to re-engage UWPC's existing partnerships. If you are an existing corporate partner who would like to get your workplace campaign started, please contact Julia Colecchi at juliac@uwportage.org or 330-297-1424 Ext. 3
Event Sponsors
Hometown Bank
Portage Community Bank
Step 2 Company
Annual Celebration
The United Way Annual Celebration was held on July 22nd from 6-8pm at the home of David and Janet Dix. We had beautiful weather, a lovely patio, amazing food and drinks!

A special thank you to our community funded partner speakers, Mark Frisone - Exec. Director of F&CS and Kathy Regal - CEO of Children's Advantage.

Catering was provided by Eisele Catering of Mantua. Music was provided by KSU students Jonah Ferguson and Evan Baker. Transportation was provided by Emerald Transportation, a Family and Community Services organization.

Thank you to all attendees, sponsors, and funded partners for attending and continuous support!
Upcoming Special Events
The UWPC Golf CLASSIC will not be held this year but we fully expect to have the event in 2022.

Our Annual Campaign Kickoff will be held on Wednesday, October 6th at Midway Drive-In.

A new event this year, UWPC Holiday Concert, will be held this winter at Kent Stage. Official date to come.
Community Funded Programs
All of our funded partners that remain open are following all COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines. Check with each individual program to learn what services are being offered during this time.
Children's Advantage
Children's Advantage strengthens families of all kinds. The organization can link you to a case manager that will provide you with necessary resources that can help your family manage mental health or behavioral issues, advocate for necessary services, assist with financial needs, address food insecurities and link you to all community services available. A kinship support group is also available, as well as parenting support groups.

In August, Children's Advantage is highlighting the School Based Services and support for kinship/caregivers/guardians that have stepped up in the lives of children.
Girls on the Run
The Girls on the Run program inspires ALL girls to build confidence and make intentional decisions, while fostering care and compassion for self and others. Trained coaches use physical and dynamic discussions to build social, emotional and physical skills in every girl while encouraging healthy habits for life.

Click HERE for volunteer opportunities with GOTR.

The Fall 5k will be held on November 14th at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Sign up HERE!
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity seeks to put God's love into action. They bring people together to build homes, community and hope.
Habitat has many volunteer opportunities at the ReStore located in Kent and at their job sites when the homes are built.
A home is currently being built in Ravenna. Contact dom@habitatofportage.org to volunteer.

The Habitat ReStore offers a latex paint recycling program. Each container is a $2.00 contribution. Please drop off your paint Tuesday through Saturday 10AM-3PM.

The Habitat for Humanity Bi-Annual Gala will be on November 13th at NEOMED. The event will recognize members of the community who have helped to fulfill the mission within Portage County.
Please visit HERE to register.
Kidney Foundation of Ohio
The Kidney Foundation of Ohio helps patients suffering with renal disease with medication, transportation and emergency assistance. Should a patient, family member or friend need life-saving medication, transportation or emergency assistance, please call 216-771-2700.

The Harvest Walk & 5K will be held on October 3rd. Register HERE.
Volunteers are needed from 7-10AM to assist with walker/runner check-in, raffle sales, distributing refreshments and more. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Annette at afetter@kfohio.org.
Kent Social Services
Kent Social Services is still under construction with their renovation. The pantry continues to be operational 9:30AM-2:30PM at appointment times. The office is open from 9AM-3PM. The hot meal program continues to operate at Trinity Lutheran Church from 11:30AM-12:30PM.

KSS is searching for a desk volunteer in the dining room to greet consumers and donors, answer phones, accept donations and answer questions pertaining to the organization. Hours will be Monday-Friday from 9AM-3M. The volunteer will be needed starting in October. Contact Marquice Seward at 330.673.6963 if you wish to volunteer.

The 10th Annual Putt-R-Ball Golf Classic will be on September 25th at Birdie Shack.
King Kennedy Community Center
KKCC is currently running the following programs: Jake's Kids Summer Camp, Tutoring and Mentoring Program, Notary, support for homelessness, parental or personal drug use, mental health, children services involvement, independent living skills, criminal justice involvement, GED referral and help with parenting.

Volunteers are needed to help with Jake's Kids Summer Camp. The program provides educational, recreational and social activities as well as nutritional meals and snacks. This is done with a variety of field trips, outdoor experiences and team building exercises. The program is available to children ages 3-14. Contact Myia Sanders at msanders@fcsohio.org or 330.296.9957 if you wish to volunteer.
Senior Corps RSVP
RSVP provides community volunteer opportunities for seniors (55+). Opportunities include volunteering at food pantries, companionship, summer day camps, senior centers and hospitals. RSVP volunteers provide the equivalent of $34,000 of service to Portage County communities each month.

"Volunteering is at the very core of being a human. No one has made it through life without someone else's help."