August 21 2018 0comment

United Way Community Kickoff


Terre Haute, IN – The United Way of the Wabash Valley kicked off its 2018 Annual Community Resource Drive on August 2nd at the Salvation Army.  The Kickoff marks the start of United Way’s annual effort to spread awareness of our communities most daunting social issues.  United Way asked those attending to Join the Fight against poverty and lend a hand to our struggling working families.

Danielle Isbell, United Way Resource Development Director kicked off the event by challenging the community to unite together to create lasting change.  “The United Way of the Wabash Valley wants to energize the community to not just raise money, but see how the power of working together can really change our future.”  She introduced Kristi Howe, the Executive Director of the Vigo County Public Library as the 2018 Chair of the United Way Resource Drive.

“The Wabash Valley is a beautiful place to call home, but too many of our friends and neighbors are struggling,” said Howe.  “I’m a problem-solver, and I’m excited about this resource drive because our United Way is a problem-solver, too.  We’re committed to working with and for our community to solve problems in the Valley.  We’re working with you to break cycles and build stronger communities.  Communities we can all be proud to call home. “

Richard Payonk, the Executive Director explained the goal of the Resource Drive in simple terms.  “Starting today, we are not just a fundraisers, but we will be the hand-raisers who can help us all work together to use a Community Impact Fund of caring donor resources to seed smart community solutions.”  Earlier this year, United Way announced a bold new community goal to help 10,000 households out of financial struggles.  To help our community better understand the reality of what many families in our community are facing, Payonk discussed the ALICE study and with a short video, United Way introduced the Wabash Valley to Tina and John – a struggling working family in our community.  These fantastic people are not the picture of poverty many of us have,” Payonk explained, “no single policy, government department, organization or program can tackle the increasingly complex social problems we face.  We couldn’t help Tina and John alone, but when multiple organizations come together with a common agenda we can achieve more.”  To fund those solutions we must build our Community Impact Fund.

The event also provided a great show of the power of collaboration.  Dan Gisel, pastor of the Maryland Community Church 12 Points Campus spoke about their recent collaboration with United Way on the Serve the Valley volunteer event.  “By having two organizations work together without concern for who’s name got the credit, we created the largest event of its kind in over 20 years, with 600 volunteers lending their skills to 60 projects in the Valley.”

The United Way of the Wabash Valley also thanked Terre Haute Chevrolet for the donation of a 2018 Chevy Spark to further incentivize donations to their Community Impact Fund.  This is the 8th year they have partnered with us and we appreciate their willingness to Join the Fight!

Tribune Star article