W omen United affinity group of United Way of Knox County, Ohio
Newsletter April - June 2020
If you have not renewed your membership for 2020, Please take moment to do so by clicking the Women United Dues link below and selecting the membership level of your choice.
Stay up-to-date with Women United events and activities by visiting our website and Facebook.

2020 Power of the Purse goes Online!

Our Women United affinity group has made the decision to hold an online Power of the Purse Auction, partnering with Jagger Auctioneers, instead of holding a traditional live event.

This unique event will take place online the week of October 12-16, 2020. “This was not an easy decision to make,” remarked United Way of Knox County Ohio Executive Director Kelly Brenneman. This event is a major funding source for our Women United projects each year. Due to COVID-19 and the social distancing challenges that this event would present, we felt it best for Women United to take a year off and wait until we were comfortable holding an event with over 250 ladies safely.”

Power of the Purse does include an online auction each year with mid-range purses and Brenneman feels that it can easily be converted to the main event. “Our online auction grows every year as we continue to offer great name brand purses. We realize that the online auction will not be as powerful as our traditional event, but this is not a normal year and we are taking lemons and making lemonade,” said Brenneman.

As the event gets closer, more information will be released and shared with Women United. To donate a new purse to the auction, please contact United Way at 740.397.5721 or email [email protected] .
April Awareness with New Directions
Partner Agency, New Directions Shelter of Knox County Ohio , received Women United grant funds to support Awareness Activities in April and October. April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Due to COVID-19 social precautions, New Directions utilized an online campaign to bring awareness to the community. While physical distancing guidelines prevented the community from coming together in awareness events or hosting speakers, there were several ways to show support from home.

New Directions shared information about Sexual Assault including how to support survivors, create boundaries on the agency's Facebook Page and Instagram Account. They shared educational content which described the role of an advocate and provided statistics to help combat stigma related to sexual assault and reporting.
Each year on the First Tuesday in April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) Day of Action provides a day to focus awareness on sexual violence prevention. The United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc. team showed support by wearing teal in the daily Skype staff meeting.

The Women United grant awarded to New Directions also extends to October, which is Domestic Abuse awareness month. We look forward to sharing prevention and awareness content and to support the agency's efforts at that time.
KnoxWorks at TouchPointe Marriage & Family Resources

The Women United grant to Touchpoint was used to help individuals in recovery to become self-sufficient. Funds were only used if the "neighbor" (a term for individuals participating in KnoxWorks) attended KnoxWorks in addition to other selection criteria including motivation and participation level. The program administrator provided a little bit of background information for each individual who received assistance through the grant.

Neighber #1 had 2 drug felonies and her son was taken into foster care. Through the program, she grew immensely and prepared to get her son back. It was amazing. Neighbor #1 enrolled at COTC to get her degree in counseling needed a laptop. KnoxWorks used Women United funds and worked closely with IT to give her the technology she needed to do her school work. 

Neighbor #2 entered KnoxWorks with no job, no phone, no driver’s license and a felony, all before the age of 21. He has all of those things now and just celebrated one year of employment! His felony was listed incorrectly and KnoxWorks was able to work with the court system and fix the error. KnoxWorks used Women United funds to help with his car insurance to responsibly drive to work!

Neighbor #3 lacked the 2 forms of ID required to get a job. He felt that this was holding him back so KnoxWorks used Women United grant funds to pay the fee to obtain a copy of his birth certificate. 

Neighbor #4 was unable to pay his cell phone bill. He needed a phone in order to go through the process of applying for and getting a job. He has since then been hired at a local business and is working toward applying to a new, full-time position.

Neighbor #5 is in Recovery housing and working toward getting his license back. His license reinstatement fees were only $15, which KnoxWorks paid for using Women United grant funds. He is currently enrolled in school at COTC.

Neighbor #6 spent time in prison and had fines and reinstatement fees. She is working and has saved money to pay toward these fees. KnoxWorks helped her get driving privileges by letting the judge know that she has been working closely with TouchPointe. KnoxWorks also used Women United grant funds to help pay a portion of her reinstatement fee. Neighbor #6 was then able to get her insurance and is waiting to take her drivers test once the BMV office makes this option available!

Neighbor #7 attended the March 2020 KnoxWorks class. She is in Recovery and just started a new local job. She is working toward getting her license back. With these funds, KnoxWorks just paid off her reinstatement fees in early June!

These are seven individuals who's lives have been impacted by the Women United KnoxWorks Resources for Recovery grant. We look forward to sharing more stories, as there is still a small portion of the grant funds yet to be spent!
Covid-19 Recovery Bags
Women United members were among the volunteers for local Recovery Bag project activities. Recovery bags gloves, non-medical masks, sanitizing wipes and community resources are available to Knox County residents.

The bags a result of a project driven by Knox County Mobility Management Susie Simpson. The community group supporting the effort includes Knox County Mobility Management , Knox County Chamber of Commerce , Knox County Emergency Management Agency, the Emergency Operations Center, Knox Public Health - Mount Vernon, Ohio and United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc .

Recovery bags have been assembled and then delivered to local social service and nonprofit agencies including CES Credit Union . Those interested in receiving a recovery bag can contact Knox County Mobility Manager Susie Simpson at 740-485-5002 or visit Knox Public Health’s website ( knoxhealth.com ) for a list of sites where bags are available.