September - October 2019
  United Way of Knox County, Ohio

2019 Campaign

Our 2019 Campaign kicked off with a week long community celebration  September 9 through the 13th. The schedule of events included serving Hot Meals, sneaking a peek at the YMCA renovation, playing at SPI, experiencing the Winter Sanctuary emergency shelter, and celebrating at our luncheon and unwinding at happy hour. 

Through out the week we had over 131 volunteer interactions and 193 volunteer hours logged! 

Photos from events are available on Facebook.

Our Campaign theme this year is "In a World So Divided, LIVE UNITED". This theme highlights that diversity, inclusion, and community give value to every human being, no matter our differences. By promoting the health, education, and financial stability of all Knox County residents, we find ways that we can all agree and unite!

Thank you Campaign Kick-Off Week Sponsors!
The 2020 Investment Agenda includes $399,434 supporting 13 Health programs administered by 9 partner agencies; $110,000 supporting 6 Education programs administered by 5 partner agencies; and  $210,000 supporting 6 Financial Stability programs administered by 6 partner agencies. United Way of Knox County is also unique in that the organization coordinates several community programs directly, including Crunch Out, Poverty Simulation, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, and three local After School Elementary tutoring and enrichment programs.  United Way Videos are a great way to learn more!

Use this link to pledge your support to the 2019 United Way Campaign.

Crunch Out Knox County

The Crunch Out program is well underway in all of Knox County's 4th grade physical education classes. The program promotes exercise, nutrition and wellness information. 

Fourth graders learn to use an exercise ball, are introduced to the 5-2-1-0 guidelines, journal about their healthy habits, and reflect on their experience in the program by writing an essay at the end. 
Once again, over 600 fourth grade students are expected to participate in the program.

Get Healthy Knox County, the YMCA of Mount Vernon, Knox County Health Department, and Knox Community Hospital have ben long time partners of the program. This year, Operation RoundUp also chose to partner with United Way to provide the program to Knox County youths.

After School Tutoring and Enrichment

Back to school also means back to after school - United Way after school programs, that is. This year United Way will support three after school programs in Knox County. East Elementary's Eagles' Nest and Dan Emmett Elementary's Tiger Pride club are joined by the East Knox Bulldog Pound at East Knox Elementary. 

Students are invited to participate in the programs based on test score and school performance. Homework assistance and fun activities provided at the program help students improve performance and embrace school.

Like the two programs before it, the Bulldog Pound meets Monday through Thursday,  3:30 - 5 pm from October until May. Volunteer as a tutor or learn more about the programs by contacting or calling United Way at 740.397.5721

Community Poverty Simulation

On October 17, United Way partnered with the Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Knox Team and several community and individual partners, participants, and volunteers for a Poverty Simulation. The  Apostolic Christian Church on Old Delaware Road provided the space for the event.

The packed Poverty Simulation exposed 85 participants to confusion, close chairs, long lines, loud bells - all features built in to the simulations to build stress- demonstrate day to day stress levels experienced by families experiencing poverty.
In the simulation, participants assumed the roles of  families facing a variety of challenging, circumstances, such as homelessness, unemployment and unexpected guardianship of children. Volunteers served in the roles of resource providers, such as social worker, loan officer, employer, pawnbroker, grocer, utility collector, police officer and teacher.

Poverty Simulation offers the opportunity for participants to work through these challenges in a safe environment to practice new skills. The program aims to sensitize participants to poverty in our community and motivate them to promote activities in our community to reduce poverty.

Email to learn the specific details about hosting a simulation within your agency, organization or church.  This is a great team building opportunity; however, a group of at least 50 participants in needed in order to conduct an effective simulation.

Honoring Lisa Rutter

October 17 was also United Way education coordinator Lisa Rutter's last day. She has retired  from a long service-driven career in the community.  Lisa joined the United Way staff in August 2007 after retiring from a 30 year career within the Knox County social services system.  With Lisa's knowledge and background of local services and supports for families and children, it was a logical transition into the United Way arena.  She was responsible for promoting and coordinating the Imagination Library free book program for children, the FamilyWize Prescription Discount Program, and connecting the community to the 2-1-1 Information and Referral Hotline.  Lisa also facilitated Poverty Simulations, making the Simulation on the seventeenth, a fitting last day.

While United Way will miss Lisa's contributions, we anticipate that she will continue to advocate for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, among other beloved United Way Programs.


We are excited to share that we have partnered with CitizenAID, Knox Community Hospital, First-Knox National Bank, Kokosing Construction, and the Ariel Foundation to help prepare our local schools. CitizenAID helps provide our local Knox County Schools with a solution to enhance campus safety in effort to empower teachers to save lives should they ever be in such position.

The partnership will provide citizenAID Public Treatment Kits in over 600 Knox County classrooms, and High Visibility Wall Stations that hold multiple kits in high-traffic areas at all schools across the county. The sponsorship also includes online safety, security, and trauma care training for all school staff members. Additionally, every purchased training program through the partnership includes an educational one for one match from citizenAID. Combined, more than 1,050 Knox County teachers and staff will be trained through the program at:
  • Centerburg
  • Danville
  • East Knox
  • Fredericktown
  • Mount Vernon
  • Knox Educational Service Center
  • Knox County Career Center
To learn more about citizenAID and the services it provides, please visit or  read more in the  press release.

Getting a Head Start

In recent Partner Agency updates, Head Start reported heartwarming community impact. In April, May, and June alone, 19 children received glasses for the first time, 7 children had ear tubes put in, and six centers hosted dentists for dental screenings.

We notice and so do the parents. Not only are students given medical screenings and connected to care through the Child and Family Wellness United Way partner program, but the classrooms are giving students a boost as well. Knox County Head Start and Early Head Start Programs Parent Interview Comments described the impact  "The activities have helped [my daughter] develop more than just being with me. I really feel like the program has prepared her more than what I could have done on my own"

Recovery in Sight

October 23 - 31 is National Red Ribbon week, the oldest and largest drug prevention program. Our United Way partners at The Freedom Center provide prevention programming and United Way  partners with KSAAT to engage the entire community in these efforts.

While prevention is an important effort, community partners support those in recovery as well. 

The Freedom Center shared a particularly encouraging recovery story. A 53-year old client with a history of heroin and methamphetamine use and failed recovery attempts due to housing instability and incarceration is now in recovery. Through the Program Care Management Program, supported by United Way, she was connected  with community resources for clothing, food, and a phone. She was referred to Naomi's House, local Women's Recovery House (a past and current recipient of Women United funds). She is now experiencing stable living, and engaging in treatment services.

Women United members heard the emotional details of this story first-hand at a Women in Recovery Luncheon. These lunches are hosted once every three months are invite women to share their journey to recovery with a supportive and empathetic audience of Women United members.
Call for Volunteers
Would you like to volunteer to serve our Knox County Community?
Active Volunteer Opportunities

United Way After School Programs - Contact Elizabeth to get involved.

Eagles' Nest 
After School  Tutoring & Enrichment
Monday through Thursday, 3:30-5 pm 
at East Elementary School.

Tiger Pride Club 
After School Tutoring & Enrichment 
Monday through Thursday,3:30-5 pm 
at Dan Emmett Elementary School

Bulldog Pound 
After School Tutoring & Enrichment
Monday through Thursday,3:30-5 pm 
at East Knox Elementary School.

Free Tax Preparation Assistance Program 
at United Way of Knox County, 
program begins January 2020, 
Volunteer recruitment and training begin now!

YMCA of Mount Vernon
is seeking volunteers to support their child watch services. Stop by the YMCA's front desk to fill out an application.

Interchurch Social Services
Knox County Locations
Opportunities vary

SPI Science and Play Space
utilize volunteers to help deliver programming to Knox County children
Apply Online

We aim to make United Way activities a reflection of Knox County's priorities. We rely on community volunteers to lead the process, we strive to LIVE UNITED.

Join us!

United Way events

Thursday, February 20
United Way 
Annual Meeting
Details to be shared soon

Saturday January 11
 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Gallagher Centre
Crunch Out 
Knox County 
Awards Ceremony
Celebrate the program completion and recognize the essay contest winners

After School Elementary Tutoring & Enrichment
United Way Programs meet after school Monday through Thursday
To Volunteer, email

Mondays 4:30-5:30 p.m.
YMCA Youth Enrichment
YMCA, United Way
OSU Extension, KCH, and Psi Iota Xi Sorority join forces: Workout while your child learns something new! 
Free for YMCA members, $5 non-members
Call 740 392 9622

Edible Knox

Email for more details.

Join Our Friends!

Community Events

October 19
Chapel Hill Golf Course
YMCA Golf Scramble
Proceeds benefit their Capital Campaign

October 26
Various Locations in  Knox County
Drug Take Back Day
Questions? Call 740.392.2200

Various Date in October
New Directions
Presents Knox Knows More - free community events during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

November 1, 7-9:30 pm
SPI Spot 
400 S Main St, Mt Vernon
Mystery Masquerade

November 4
Edible Knox Planning
Contact OSU Ext. Office

November 14
Heroine Movie Screening
Contact New Directions

November 15
hosted at MVNU campus
Youth Leadership Day
Contact KSAAT or TAC

Parent Support Initiative
Triple P Parenting Classes and Series

Saturdays, 9 am - 12 pm
Mount Vernon
Farmers Market
1 Public Square, Mount Vernon.  
Market is active May through October

Knox Out Tobacco
is looking for Service and Referral Providers
Contact Mike Whitaker 
740.392.2200 ext. 2233

1st Monday Each Month, 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
the Freedom Center
Family Education Session
106 East Gambier St

During the School Year
Ohio Job and Family Services
New online Child Care Resource tool to find childcare before and after school.

Get Healthy Knox County

Email for more details or to share your organization's events in the next newsletter!

In the News!

Recent Partner Program  Achievements

Knox Heath Planning Partnerships was named the 2019 Knox Wellness & Recovery Champion and honored in ceremony

Women United affinity group of United Way held their annual luncheon

Knox County Commissioners and United Way announced Emergency Food and Shelter Program funding available in the news

Knox County Health Department  opened a

Get Healthy Knox County  hosted a 1-Mile Family Fun Run activity at

United Way Videos 
Hear the United Way Stories -  watch online

Email for more details or to share a story or event for the next newsletter.