Update January 2021
From the desk of the Executive Director....
What a year 2020 has been for everyone, personally, professionally, and economically for our community.

As difficult as it was, I refuse to only look at the negatives of this year, seeing many positives occur. I saw families spend more time together, going to parks, taking walks, riding bikes, and the resurgence of board games. People purchased carryout food and shopped locally, supporting our restaurants and businesses. Thanks to our community, we exceeded our goal, ensuring critical services continue in Knox County.

The workforce was introduced to “Zoom” and found out that it was possible to work remotely and be productive. I also found a renewed admiration for our educational system, as I was transported back to second grade with my grandson, helping him with remote learning on Tuesdays. I watched our necessary front-line workers never missing a beat with complete awe, continuing to perform their jobs, risking their safety to keep our communities running. Finally, I also slowed down and smelled the roses; even though that sounds so cliché, it’s true.

As I look forward to 2021, I can see life regaining some normality with the vaccine being distributed. I hope to take all of the positives of 2020 and instill them in my new routine moving forward. I wish you all a safe, healthy New Year.

Warmest Regards,

Kelly
Kelly Brenneman
United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc.
The United Way of Knox County 2020 Campaign theme Eat Local, Shop Local, Spend Local and Donate Local. We can do this Knox County! demonstrates that we are committed more than ever to partnering and support local businesses who support United Way.
$5 Buck Friday & Silent Auction Sunday
Thank you to our community engagement participants! We have loved highlighting different opportunities to EAT, SHOP, and SPEND LOCAL through our campaign promotions.

We had 457 $5 Buck Friday Participants, who together raised $3,148.67 for our community
Our Silent Auction Sunday features raised $1979.75

Due to a miscommunication with eBay, we were unable to offer our final Silent Auction Sunday package. We will be offering a final $5 Buck Friday drawing.
Donate between January 18 and January 22, 2021 to participate.

This $5 Buck Friday giveaway features items were donated by Smithhisler Meats, Kenyon Inn & Restaurant, United Way Board of Directors, and James McLaughlin (Marketing Director CES Credit Union and United Way Board Member) who donated his $5 Buck Friday winning gift card to Wiggin Street Coffee back to United Way to be included in this package.

The $5 Buck Friday winner will recevie:
$100 Gift Card to Smithhisler Meats,
One - Night Stay at the Kenyon Inn
$100 Gift Certificate to dine at The Kenyon Inn & Restaurant
$100 Gift Card to Wiggin Street Coffee
Total Estimated Value $500.

Community members are invited to donate $5 to the United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc 2020 Campaign at the link provided at uwayknox.org/fridays to be entered into the drawing. Enter multiple times by donating in $5 increments.

Participate by donating at uwayknox.org/fridays between January 18 and January 22, 2021.
2021 Investment Process Update
2021 United Way Investment Applications have been received and reviewed. Program representatives have presented to the Community Impact Panel and Community Investment Committee.

Now that our 2020 Campaign has come to a close, the United Way Investment Committee will meet and propose the 2021 Community Investment Agenda.

The feedback we received in the application review and presentation process has been shared with the Community Investment Committee who will make funding recommendations to our United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc. Board of Directors.
It is a long, objective process with many community stakeholders involved. We rely on the community to guide funding partnership decisions.

Emergency Food and Shelter Funds for Knox County
Knox County has been awarded Federal funds to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county, the Knox County Commissioners and United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc. This award is considered Phase 38 fiscal year (FY2020) funding and is awarded to Knox County in the amount of $23,991.

The selection was made by a national board chaired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. The board consists of representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, The Salvation Army and United Way Worldwide. The local board was charged to distribute federally appropriated funds from Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

The local board is chaired by Knox County Commissioner Teresa Bemiller and co-chaired by United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc Executive Director Kelly Brenneman for Phase 38. The board determined how the funds awarded to Knox County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies.  
Knox County has distributed emergency food and shelter funds for Phase 38 with The Winter Sanctuary Emergency Homeless Shelter and Centerburg Senior Services. Funds awarded will support free food programs, mass shelter, and emergency shelter. United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc has been selected to provide administrative staff support to the Local Program.  

Phase 38 will run almost concurrently with previously awarded Phases 37 and CARES Act funding. In 2020 Knox County has distributed emergency food and shelter funds for Phase 37 with The Winter Sanctuary Emergency Homeless Shelter. Knox County has distributed emergency food and shelter funds for Phase CARES with Alcohol & Drug Freedom Center of Knox County, New Directions: Knox County’s Domestic Abuse Shelter and Rape Crisis Shelter, The Salvation Army of Mount Vernon, Apostolic Christian Church food pantry, and Covenant Church food pantry. Funds awarded will support free food programs, mass shelter, emergency shelter, rent and mortgage assistance, and utility assistance. United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc has been selected to provide administrative staff support to the Local Program.  
Tax Preparation Assistance to be Offered
Since 2007, United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc has been offering free tax preparation assistance. Our dedicated staff and team of tax preparation volunteers will once again offer free Tax Preparation Assistance. This year, the IRS VITA program will be offered in new curbside style appointment. Taxpayers will stay in their car while VITA certified preparer completed the return inside of United Way's office.
For a more information or to schedule an appointment, call United Way at 740-397-5721.
Volunteer Knox will be an online county-wide volunteer management platform.

This site will allow organizations in search of volunteers to provide agency information and specific volunteer job descriptions in a central database. Through this same platform, community members and groups can create logins and view, filter, and strategically select opportunities to pursue.
Organizations and volunteers will utilize the tool for free under one United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc. agreement. Contact United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc. Program Director for more information!