Page 67 - Discover Magazine 2019
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   Helping Citizens
     The citizens of Shelby County benefit from a variety of social service programs thanks to the work of numerous agencies and volunteers. In addition to
In 2016, the Shelby County United Way began working to bring 2-1-1 to Shelby County. A free service now available in most counties of the state of Ohio and designed to educate consumers about where to turn when in need, 2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember number to call to receive non-emergency help or access to human services. Active since January 1, 2017, calls made to 2-1-1 in Shelby County are answered by HelpLine, a local information and referral agency. Operators have access to an extensive database
with information about local assistance with food, clothing and shelter; counseling and other health services; support groups; child care, employment, and transportation; and legal issues.
The United Way supports three more community initiatives: I.M.P.A.C.T. (Imagine Making Positive Accountable Changes Together), a program designed to identify and counsel school-age children facing obstacles to academic and social success; Kidz Corps, an after-school program; and Character Playbook – Building Healthy Relationships, a web-based curriculum for sixth through eighth graders.
Shelby County agencies and programs that receive funding from the United Way include: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County, Clear Creek Farm,
the Miami Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Midwest Regional Educational Service Center, Daybreak Adult Day Services, Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby
County, Catholic Social Services (Senior Health Services and Mental Health Counseling), Alpha Community
Center, Wilma Valentine Childcare, Y Child Development Center, American Red Cross Greater Cincinnati-Dayton, Shelby County CASA/GAL, New Choices, Inc., Samaritan Works, Inc., Shelby County Victim Services, STAR House, Compassionate Care, Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development, SafeHaven, Inc., The Arc of Shelby County, and Agape Distribution.
P.O.W.E.R. (Passionate Optimistic Women Encouraging Results), the United Way’s Women’s Initiative,
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 funding from foundations and grants, many of these programs are supported by a strong countywide United
Way that realized over $1.34 million in its 2018 campaign. Beginning its 62nd year after that successful campaign themed “United We Win,” the Shelby County United Way
supports 27 agencies and programs which serve people of all ages in the impact areas of Enriching the Lives of Seniors, Promoting Health and Well Bring, Investing in Youth and Children, Strengthening Families and Individuals, and Caring for People in Crisis. Special Project Grants are also available to non-profit agencies throughout the year to assist with one-time projects. The giving levels of the United Way - 35% of the campaign dollars come from corporate gifts with the remaining 65% from local individuals and families – are a testament to Shelby County. It is truly a special place to live because of the compassion of citizens helping fellow citizens.
In 2015, the Shelby County United Way collaborated with the Shelby County Libraries and other funding partners to adopt Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for Shelby County youth. Imagination Library is an early literacy program for children from birth to age five. At no cost to
the family, an age appropriate book is mailed monthly to
the family’s address. Studies show that children enrolled in Imagination Library are better prepared for kindergarten,
are read to more often, and have more books and visits to the local libraries than children not enrolled. Wilson Health is automatically enrolling all infants born at their birthing center. Over 88,000 books have been distributed to 3,834 Shelby County children since March, 2015. This includes the 2,412 children under the age of five who are currently enrolled and 1,422 children who have “graduated” from the program. Currently, 69% of eligible children in the county are enrolled. 65

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