Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

January 10, 2014

United Way director will boost online presence

Debbie Blank The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — Kelly Bulmer officially became the United Way of Franklin County executive director Nov. 7 upon Yvonne Brandes’ retirement. The Brookville native and resident believes UWFC “is such an important organization because in some way it touches all members of the community. Either you benefit from some of the partner agencies we support or you know someone who does.”

Bulmer is grateful that “our previous executive director and current board of directors have laid a strong foundation for me.”

Volunteers have raised about 25 percent of the 2013-14 $100,000 goal. She reports, “The campaign kicked off in August. I am confident we will achieve our goal.”

With money being collected now through payroll programs at county companies, UWFC will aid one new nonprofit, the Batesville-based Southeast Indiana Health Center, and 12 others in 2014: American Red Cross, Boy Scouts Crossroads Council, Developmental Services, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, Imagination Library of Franklin County, Family Connections, Franklin County 4-H Association, Franklin County Senior Citizens Services, New Horizons Rehabilitation, Safe Passage, Special Olympics and Tri-Homecare.

The Batesville Church of Christ member emphasizes, “All of our partner agencies are funded at the local level. We are very proud of that. We are a member of the Indiana Association of United Ways and United Way Worldwide. However, they do not decide who we fund as partner agencies.”

As director, Bulmer has a few short-term goals: “make UWFC more accessible online (www.uwfranklinco-in.org), increase its online presence through social media and an updated Web page, increase community engagement and educate the community on the services we provide.”

Board meetings are held in Brookville monthly. With just one Batesville board member, Jake Linkel, “we welcome more from your area.” The nominating committee is searching for one new board member. Interested persons may contact Bulmer at 765-647-2789 or uw.franklinco.in@gmail.com.

“Right now is a quiet time” at the office, according to the 37-year-old. There is not a huge need for volunteers at the moment, but she promises there will be opportunities in the future. “I have a fabulous volunteer, Sara Duffy, who heads up the Coats for Kids drive that just wrapped up. We collected approximately 75 coats and lots of hats and gloves that were distributed to children in the community. I am pleased with the number of coats collected. We’ve been able to match every child in need who we were aware of with a warm coat. A lot of them were brand new coats!”

Education: I graduated from Franklin County High School in 1995 and have a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations from Ball State University.

Proudest achievement: My marriage to Rob Bulmer, my high school sweetheart who grew up in Metamora; and my family, including children Jake, 8; Max, 5; and Josie, 8 months; and parents Randy and Debbie Mullins, Batesville, and RoseMary Stirn, Brookville, and the late Douglas Stirn.

Back home again: We’ve lived back home for six years now. We lived in Muncie for several years. My prior work with Lowes as a district operations manager took us to St. Louis for a couple of years. Having a family changed a lot of perspectives and we wanted to be closer to home and family. I got hired right away with the Indiana Department of Child Services as a regional foster care specialist when we moved back to Brookville. I was able to complete my degree while working there. I remember looking for work when we first moved home and saying, “I would love to be the executive director of the United Way!” so I was so surprised when the job was advertised. It was the right time for me to step down to part-time work. We just had our third child this spring. I had been back to work full time since July and it was hectic!

Biggest challenge: Balancing work and family, much easier now with my new job. And raising my children with Christian values in an increasingly non-Christian world.

Best pastimes: Reading, singing and watching movies on the cheap at the Brookville Theater. They always have new releases!

Secret desire: Learning to knit, but so far I haven’t found the time to practice enough.

 

More about UWFC • Hours at the office, 527 Main St., Suite 1, Brookville, are Tuesday-Wednesday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and Thursday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. • The annual meeting will take place Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Hearthstone Restaurant, Metamora.