For almost 50 years, our United Way has been in this community to support vital programs and services that help those in need. In that time, we’ve built strong relationships with Chippewa Valley organizations, businesses, local governments, healthcare providers, academic institutions, and other groups and individuals who are stakeholders in our community. We have used our unique position as a community mobilizer to bring together people with the expertise, resources and passion to develop strategic plans that will help remove barriers to educational success, financial stability and personal health. This model of action, called Community Impact, will allow us to improve the lives of not only people already in need, but help others who are at risk by addressing the key issues that cause these needs in the first place.
The traditional practice of United Way raising financial resources to support programs that improve the lives of their clients has been important work, but it is not enough. Despite the money raised and the services provided, many problems continue to grow. These problems have been affected by economic conditions, historical trends, disconnections among community systems, and a host of other reasons. United Way’s added approach to address the root cause of problems and prevent them requires additional partners. Through these partnerships, we need to identify the conditions that created the issues in the first place.
Volunteers in our education, income and health advisory councils are developing plans of action that identify primary issues which adversely affect our population and bring together existing resources and new models of service to provide education, counseling and services to those who otherwise would fall through the gaps of existing single-service programs.
These community action plans, scheduled for completion by the end of this year, will help ensure that children enter school ready to succeed, that families are more financially stable, and that individuals have the best opportunities for health and wellness.