United Way of Portage County
3nd Quarter Newsletter - August 2020
United Way Funded 42 Programs during the
2019-2020 Campaign!
Through the generous support of donors in our community, United Way has provided grant funding to 42 programs that serve Portage County residents. All of these programs are centered around our three goals -
  • ensuring school success, with a focus on early literacy initiatives
  • helping individuals achieve financial stability by assuring their basic needs are met
  • providing greater access to resources that help to improve physical, mental and spiritual health.

To see the list of our community funded partners, click here.
News from the CEO, Bill Childers:
As June drew to a close, so did the United Way 2019-2020 Campaign. The COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped the work that United Way does. Through the generous support of our donors, United Way of Portage County has over $540,000 invested into our community to enhance the education, income and health for thousands of Portage County residents. In addition, The United Way Emergency Food and Shelter Program awarded over $200,000 to help Portage County residents struggling with food insecurity, homelessness and difficulty paying utility bills.

COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Update
UWPC has raised over $60,000 to help organizations that are struggling during the pandemic. Over $23,000 has been dispersed to 22 organizations to help serve community members. These organizations provide services including food distribution, job training, PPE distribution and more! If your organization is in need, apply for a grant by visiting https://www.uwportage.org/COVID-1.
UWPC Welcomes Four New Directors
The UWPC Board of Directors is comprised of local community members and business leaders who have a passion for the organization's mission and vision. Below are the four new members who joined the Board in July 2020, with a brief introduction.
Colin Boyle is a Portage County native and Chief Financial Officer at Hometown Bank. Colin has worked in banking for the past 14 years and is very involved in the Kent community. He is a long-time supporter of United Way and is excited to use his knowledge and skills to be able to give back to the Portage County Community.
Michele Delgross has been involved in finance, sales and customer service positions for the majority of her career life. She is currently the Financial Sales Bank Manager at Home Savings Bank and has also served as the Vice President of the Streetsboro Chamber of Commerce for the past 2 years. Michele is very involved in the community, including being a member of the United Way's Community Impact panel. She feels there is much need in our community and finds it important to give back.
Lamar Hylton is the Vice President for Student Affairs at Kent State University and has served as a board member of many nonprofits. Lamar states that he is drawn to the vision and mission of the United Way. He hopes to lend his time, talent, and treasure to the organization that is making a significant impact on the Portage County community.
Karlo Petrak is a Senior Account at The Step2 Company and offers financial analysis leadership as a key financial business partner to management. He has served on the Campaign Committee for United Way for the past X years. Karlo enjoys serving his community and wants to make an impact to benefit the agencies and programs that Portage County supports.

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 Events
8/31/2020 - 9am- Kidney Foundation of Ohio Golf Outing in Memory of Dennis Kennedy. Register here

10/8/2020 - 8am - Kidney Foundation of Ohio Harvest Walk & 5K. Register here.
The 2-1-1 Information Center provides free and confidential 24-hour access to a compassionate professional who reviews a person’s options for help, develops a plan and acts as an advocate if a person is faced with barriers to service. Individuals in Portage County who are facing a non-emergent crises or seeking general information can dial 2-1-1, for free, from any phone.

Since January 2020, 2-1-1 has received over 3,500 calls from Portage County residents.
FamilyWize partners with nearly all pharmacies nationwide to negotiate prescription discounts, so you receive a lower price. The pharmacy discount card is for everyone nationwide, whether or not you have health insurance coverage. If you are interested in receiving a card, call UWPC at 330-297-1424
Community Impact
During the month of July, we asked businesses and individuals in the community to come together to collect donations to help those in need. The amount of support and donations received was overwhelming. Donations of books, school supplies, PPE, senior care, and personal care items were all donated. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to donate on July 29th! Our amazing sponsors included Portage Community Bank, Johnson Matthey, Chemical Bank, Guido's of Ravenna, Andy Drnjevich and an anonymous individual. Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped collect donations, including Kent Social Services, Center of Hope and UWPC Board Members. YOU ALL help to make a positive impact in the Portage County community.

A HUGE thank you to our School Supply Partners: AMETEK, Kent State University, Aurora Chamber of Commerce, UH Portage Medical Center, COIA IMPLEMENT, Inc., Hiram College, Guido's of Ravenna, Kent Police Department, and Hometown Bank.
A special to thank you Guido's for donating the BBQ supplies!
Thank you Portage Community Bank for sponsoring the event and volunteering!
Ohio Governor's Imagination Library (OGIL)
During this time of social distancing United Way of Portage County Ohio is happy to provide a program to get books in the hands of our youngest in Portage County from birth to 5 years of age. The OGIL program in Portage County is a collaboration of United Way of Portage County Ohio, Reed Memorial Library, Kent Free Library and the Portage County Library District. This program championed by Ohio's First Lady, Fran DeWine, is designed to improve the literacy rates of the youngest Ohioans. At this point so far we have 1,100 children registered. If your child is under the age of 5, you can register through this link: https://imaginationlibrary.com/check-availability/
Resource Development
2020-2021 Campaign
As June 30th marked the end of the 2019-2020 Campaign efforts, July 1st launched the 2020-2021 new campaign season! The UWPC workplace campaign unites employees in all offices and branches of a company, and gives them an opportunity to easily donate, through payroll deduction, volunteer for local agencies and community service projects, 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. To learn more about workplace payroll deduction campaigns, visit https://www.uwportage.org/campaign.

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, Director Development and Marketing, at [email protected] or 330-297-1424 Ext. 3

Special Events
  • Stay tuned for information about out Annual Campaign Kickoff! Another email will be sent out in the near future regarding the event.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, all other events have been postponed until further notice. We will keep everyone updated on our website, through emails, and social media. United Way's first priority is to look out for the health and safety of all individuals!
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.
Townhall II
Townhall II promotes the health, wellness, and recovery of individuals and communities through prevention, education, advocacy, intervention, and treatment.
At the start of the pandemic, Townhall II was identified as an essential business and has never stopped providing counseling and clinic services. Services are provided via telehealth and telephone options, but have recently allowed face-to-face counseling and clinic services if that is preferred by the client. Staff and clients are following all recommendations put forth by the CDC.
If you need any alcohol or drug services, including Medication Assisted Treatment, or if you have been a victim of any crime, call Townhall II at 330-678-3006 for an appointment and you will be scheduled within 1-3 days.
The Phyllis Zumkehr County Clothing Center
The Phyllis Zumkehr Portage County Clothing Center offers gently used clothing, household items and even appliances as available to families and individuals in need at absolutely no cost. The Center is open, but with many changes due to COVID-19. Donations are being accepted by appointment only. Call 330-296-0503 to make an donation appointment. The types of donations are limited and all are quarantined for 72 hours after received.
The Center is open for shopping on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am-12pm. All shoppers must wear a mask, bring their photo ID and have their temperature taken prior to entering the building. No children are allowed in the building. Shopping trips are limited to once per month.
King Kennedy Community Center
King Kennedy Community Center is currently open, but unfortunately not providing services like normal. Meals and educational packets are currently being delivered to children who signed up for the summer program. If someone needs help with employment, insurance, faxing paperwork, they can call to set up an appointment.
The Summer Food Service Program is available to all children without charge. Meals can be picked up at KKCC at 6660 Garfield Rd., Ravenna, OH 44266 or Skeels Matthews Community Center at 4378 Skeels St., Ravenna, OH 44266. Breakfast is served from 9:30-10:30am. Lunch is served from 12:30-1:30pm. You must call the Center if you are interested in getting meals for your child. For more information visit https://fcsserves.org/program/king-kennedy-community-center/
Housing & Emergency Support Services (HESS)
Housing and Emergency Support Services (HESS) provides support and emergency financial assistance to families and individuals experiencing a crisis in Portage County. HESS continues to assist those in need virtually and through phone appointments. Appointments can be made by calling 330-296-1111.
HESS also has funding to help those who have been effective by COVID-19 with past due rent and has helped 62 households prevent and end homelessness in the month of June. You can help a homeless household of five with one night of emergency housing by donating $45.
Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio
Girls on the Run empowers girls in 3rd through 8th grades tot make health decisions, build positive relationships and cope with difficult feelings and situations. The 10-week program emphasizes competence, confidence, connection, character, caring and contribution. The fall Girls on the Run season will begin September 24, 2020. The program will be offering an in person option, hybrid model (in person/virtual) and a virtual only option. Groups will be restricted to 12 girls and PPE will be included with all materials. Girls on the Run is currently recruiting volunteer coaches for the spring 2021 season. Information can be found at https://www.gotrnortheastohio.org/coach. Volunteers are also needed to join the social media/e-mail sharing team to promote the organization. Interested volunteers should contact [email protected].
Skeels-Mathews Community Center
Skeels-Mathews Community Center seeks to improve the educational, physical, cultural, social, recreational and governmental aspects of the community and surrounding areas. The Center is currently providing senior meal for 60+ Monday-Friday and congregate meals for persons under 60 on Wednesdays and Fridays at 12pm. All meals are to be picked up in the parking lot. The Center's Summer Youth 9-week program and its associates and volunteers are delivering breakfasts, lunches, and educational packets daily. All educational material has been donated by the Dominican Sisters of Peace.