United Way of Portage County
2020 1st Quarter Update
United Way Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio
United Way Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio
United Way of Portage County and Girls on The Run Team Up

We are excited to team up with our fabulous partners at Girls on the Run to provide a program at the Windham Renaissance Center. GOTR is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

We are currently looking for volunteer mentors. To join the Girls on the Run team and help make a difference please check out this  LINK.

Program: Girls on the Run (grades 3-5)
Where: The Renaissance Family Center of Windham Ohio
When: March 2nd-May 22nd (10 weeks)
Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:30-6:00 pm

Black History Month was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The original week was founded by Carter G. Woodson on the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick DouglassThe students of Kent State believed that the celebration of black history should not be limited to just one week.  Black History Month was officially recognized by the US government in 1976 by Gerald Ford during his speech of the Bicentennial of the United States 
News from the CEO, Bill Childers:
Bill White's Charity Bowling Bowling Tournament &Birthday Celebration

Big Thanks to Bill White for his Charity Bowling Tournament & Birthday Celebration (February) at SkyLane Bowling in Garrettsville! The event was sponsored by Bill White, Charles Auto Family, Bruce Abraham,  and hosted by Aaron King and the Crew at SkyLane and Cal's Restaurant, 100 participants had a fun evening and raised over $4,000 (net) for Miller Community House and United Way of Portage County. Special Thanks to WNIR radio's Phil Ferguson and Angela Bellios for on air promotion, Bowling Volunteer Crew Leader Pete Mahoney and the 20    Lane Sponsors:
Allen Aircraft
Tony Badalamenti
For Portage County Commissioner
Commissioner Sabrina  Christian Bennett
Jerry & Julie Beach
Angelo Bellios
Davey Tree - Craig Holcomb
David & Janet Dix
Judge Becky Doherty
Family and Community Services
Phil Ferguson
Guido's of Ravenna Since 1966
HomeTown Bank
Greg Johnson For Sheriff
Jackie Parsons  Noble For Judge
Portage Community Bank
Brian & Marilyn Sessions
Patrica Smith For Judge
Sequoia Wellness
The English Pub 

Community Impact

Reading Role Model Program

We are happy to be adding 2 more school districts to our list of schools our Reading Role Models visit during the school year.  Along with Ravenna, Kent, Brimfield, Suffield, Rootstown and Windham elementary schools, our Readers are also visiting Streetsboro and Crestwood.  Six of the school districts have us read to their kindergarten classes once a month, while we visit the other 3 quarterly.  This will likely increase our total volunteer hours for reading from102 volunteer hours during the 2018-19 school year.
If you would like to join our Reading Role Model Team, check out the link for information and to sign up. LINK

Literacy Kits

United Way of Portage County recently had the pleasure of visiting Portage Learning Centers' Head Start program
 in Ravenna to deliver 324 Literacy Kits to the children in the program! The kits included the book "Polar  Bear Po lar Bear What Do You Hear" along with a fun activity for eac h child to take home and keep. This is one of our great education programs supporting our local community!  To learn more about the kits and see a list of the past literacy kits, check out the link:  LINK
Kent State student and staff volunteers are currently working on our next literacy kit that will go to o
ver 1,000  local kindergarten students.  We 
a re currently seeking s ponsorships for the cost of the books.  If
 you a re interested in supporting this awesom e program, please contact Mauree n Gebhardt at 330.297.1424 or at [email protected] .  

Big Red Bookshelf Free Books

We've been fortunate to have  the help of some special volunteers sorting books for our Big Red Bookshelf program.  Volunteers are such an important part of this 
program!  From everything to building a bookshelf, holding a book drive, sorting books and even delivering the books to bookshelf location for restocking, this program would not have been as strong since it's start in 2015 without you.  To date 25,000 books have found their way into the hands of small children from pre-k through 3rd grade.

Volunteer Program

United Way is developing a new volunteer program to engage both community volunteers and corporate partner employees with more volunteer opportunities throughout the year.  

Enhance skills like team building and communication while gaining additional knowledge of your community and the impact of United Way and it's partner programs in Portage County. 
Individuals can learn about volunteer opportunities  HERE .  If you are looking for a group project for your employees, contact Maureen Gebhardt at [email protected]
or 330.297.1424.
Upcoming United Way Events

Friday, March 20th - NCAA Tournament Watch Party at Ray's Place-2nd Floor
11:00 am- 5:00 pm
135 Franklin Ave
For more details visit

Upcoming Partner Events
211 1st Quarter Update

Resource Development

Campaign 2019-2020 is Up and Running

The United Way of Portage County 2019-2020 Workplace Campaign efforts are in full swing! Thank you to all of the wonderful companies and individual donors who support our fundraising work as you are truly the difference makers in our community.

Want to see how your donations help local programs address local issues in our county? Check out our videos featuring a few of our funded partner programs on our  YouTube Channel.

Interested in learning how you or your company can get involved in the giving process? Visit our   UWPC Campaign page to see resources or contact Bill Childers @[email protected]

Funded Partner Programs

Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio

Girls on the Run inspires girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. Trained coaches lead small teams through our research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Over the course of the ten-week program, girls in 3rd-8th grade develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. The program culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event. Volunteers are needed the second Wednesday of every month at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. for more information visit 
Kidney Foundation of Ohio
The Kidney Foundation of Ohio is dedicated to providing a broad-based program of direct assistance to those with kidney disease and promoting & providing educational programming for the general public, renal professionals, and patients & their families.  KFO is seeking volunteers/health professionals to help with special event fundraisers, like the KFO Gala, Golf Outing, Summer Event, Renal Symposium and the walk/5K, and at community-wide health events.  For more information or to volunteer, contact Annette Fetter at [email protected] or  216.771.2700.
Autism Society Of Greater Akron

 Step Into Autism walk for autism awareness on June 13th at Firestone Stadium in Akron, which is attended by 1,200 annually. Many volunteer opportunities will be available at this event.  Autism Society Of greater Akron recently became part of the Ohio Family Network, which serves families affected by developmental disabilities in their service territory, which includes Portage County.
Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement helps students realize that the education they are getting today will help them to have a bright future tomorrow. Junior Achievement's unique, volunteer delivered programs, show them all of the possibilities that lay before them.Last year, 1,364 volunteers mentored and empowered 35,902 students through Junior Achievement programs. $50 donated means 2 students learn how to reach their potential through participation in 1 Junior Achievement program. Volunteers are needed in the following areas: Teaching JA programs in local classrooms for one hour a week, JA program material re-calibration, JA event assistance, office projects that include data entry and document scanning.
Center of Hope and Kent Social Services

The Center of Hope provides hot meals and food assistance to disadvantaged residents of Portage County. Center of Hope is dedicated to enhancing the nutrition of low-income people in Portage County where local food pantries are not present. Hot meals are offered at no cost five days a week and we typically serve 75-100 individuals per day.
Kent Social Services (KSS) is dedicated to enhancing the nutrition of low-income people in the Kent area. Kent Social Services (KSS) is the only hot meal site in Kent and provides meals at no cost five days a week. KSS serves 50-60 individuals a day, 25,000 nutritious meals annually and distributes 10,000 bags of groceries annually.
Both hot meal and pantry sites are in need of volunteers to assist with food pick-up and delivery.  Please contact Lajoyce Harris, [email protected], at the Center of Hope or Marquice Seward, [email protected], at Kent Social Services for more details.
SOAR - Student-Run Free Clinic 

SOAR provides  medical care to the uninsured and under-insured patients here in Northeast Ohio.  Services include:  Primary Care,  Chronic Disease Management,  Regular Routine Care,  Physical Exams,  Basic Labs,  Prescription for Medications and M edication Therapy Management.