power of one

“United Way of Franklin County has been serving the community for nearly 30 years by providing funding for agencies and programs that work to improve individual lives. Times have changed over the years, and so have the challenges and needs in our community,” points out executive director Kelly Bulmer.

She reports, “Our vision for the 2019 campaign is to help our most vulnerable individuals, families that routinely struggle to afford the basics and have little left over for savings or emergencies.” Bulmer explains what she calls ALICE families (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) don’t fall under the federal poverty guideline and can fall through the cracks.

“We have the data and know that 34 percent of families in Franklin County are either living in poverty or are ALICE families. We are working with community partners and agencies to bring about effective solutions for these families.

“We would like to introduce our Community Impact Fund – the strategic approach to see these families move toward self-sufficiency and break the cycle of generational poverty. This fund will work to provide meaningful solutions and offer help with basic needs like food, child care, transportation and employment.”

UWFC leaders are partnering with Southeastern Indiana Economic Opportunity Corp. and Franklin County Public Transportation to aid individuals and families.

“I know some people don’t quite understand the challenges that ALICE families face so I am excited that we have a poverty simulation tool for people to experience the decisions they are faced with daily,” she says. Bulmer highly encourages community members to visit www.indianatoughchoices.org to gain a better understanding of those who struggle to afford the basics. Participants are asked to enter their name, email and zip code for monitoring purposes only.

Chair Dawn Rosenberger, Brookville, dreamed up the campaign theme: “The Power of One.” She observes, “We truly believe that it takes just one person to make a difference.” UWFC is encouraging the community to give just one more dollar or hour of community service. “Be the one who drives the change!” Rosenberger urges.

“Our desire is to link arms with the community to bring our campaign vision to light. We would love to have you give to our Community Impact Fund to lend a hand to those families that struggle.”

The 2019 campaign goal is $75,000. After encouraging Franklin County Community School Corp. employees in August to have United Way of Franklin County contributions deducted from their paychecks, now leaders are beginning payroll campaigns at local businesses. They aim to recruit more than the eight 2018 Pacesetters. “We recently got approval to hold a campaign with the town of Brookville employees,” according to the executive director.

Board members are hoping to raise more money this year to support community grant requests plus the new Community Impact Fund. For basic needs like rent and food, “a few thousand dollars goes a long way!”

UWFC has a leadership giving group called the Governors Club (named after the county’s four governors) for levels above $250 annually: statesman, $250-$499; lieutenant governor, $500-$999; governor, $1,000-$2,499; governor’s gold, $2,500-$9,999; Tocqueville Society, $10,000 or more.

Contributors may visit www.uwfcin.org and give securely through Paypal, or they may mail donations to UWFC, P.O. Box 105, Brookville, IN 47012.

According to Bulmer, “If you work outside the county and your employer holds a United Way pledge drive, you can request your pledge be directed back to Franklin County.”

Please note Community Impact Fund on the donation if you desire to help families in need. Otherwise, all donations will go into the General Fund.

In addition, supporters can sign up through Amazon Smile and select United Way of Franklin County as the charity of choice and Amazon will give 0.5 percent of total purchases back to the nonprofit.

Anyone with questions on how to donate should contact the office at 765-647-2789 or kelly@uwfcin.org. To stay up to date on UWFC news, persons may sign up for email alerts at www.uwfcin.org.

Office hours at 518 Main St., Brookville, are Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Debbie Blank can be contacted at debbie.blank@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-717-3113.