United Way volunteers

United Way “Day of Caring” volunteers included JCHS Honor Society members Jena Morgan, Zachary Brooks, Emma Jones, Nicolas Patterson, William Cosby and JCHS Key Club members Bryan Benson, Emerson Benson and Lydia Ponsler.

The Jennings County United Way needs your help!

Their goal this year is $150,000. According to Executive Director Cheri Massey, the pandemic impacted their campaign and in turn that impacts their ability to fund agencies. United Way’s Annual community-wide fundraising campaign has been traditionally workplace, and when things shut down, payroll deductions don’t happen.

“We hope this campaign will bounce back! We have adapted many new ways to give and it can be done easily on our website, including making a monthly recurring donation,” said Massey.

United Way funds around a dozen programs in the community, as well as managing internal programs, such as the Spring and Fall Days of Caring and Dollars for Scholars annual Scholarships are awarded each year to graduating Seniors of Jennings County.

United Way’s most recent Day of Caring took place last Saturday, October 9. Members of the Jennings County High School Key Club volunteered to wash windows at North Vernon Senior Housing. Members of the Jennings County Honor Society also participated on Saturday.

Another service offered by United Way is the VITA Program, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, which helps keep more hard earned dollars in the pockets of those that really need it. The local VITA Program found ways to serve clients through the pandemic, while many VITA sites across the county closed in 2020 and did not reopen in 2021. Volunteers are needed for the next tax season! All volunteers are IRS certified in tax law. If you are interested, please contact United Way ASAP. Training is free and there is lots of support for volunteers as they certify.

United Way also offers financial stability programs that offer a hand up to help people become self-sufficient, based on Ruby Payne’s Bridges Out of Poverty and is currently seeking participants interested in the “Getting Ahead in a just getting by world” and Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

The Jennings County Assistance network, Charity Tracker, is a shared database of client assistance that allows helping agencies to work together to best meet client needs and reduce duplication of services.

It takes a community working together to reach the goal necessary to meet all its needs. The United Way Campaign is fueled by volunteers just like you — everyday people who give a little of themselves, their time, talents and treasure, to be a part of improving the quality of life in Jennings County.

Organizations and individuals can help make this campaign a success three ways:

  1. A corporate contribution — make a pledge or donote at https://jcunitedway.org/Donate.htm
  2. Arrange an employee campaign that will provide employees, regardless how many or how few, the opportunity to give. We know that people, in all walks of life, want to make a difference right here, where they live or work.
  3. Volunteer! We need your help to raise the funds that support programs that impact lives! We need volunteers for everything from stuffing brochures or dropping off campaign materials to speaking to employee groups or chairing part (or all) of the campaign. Sign up at https://jcunitedway.org/Volunteer.htm

In addition, the local United Way provides support to local Agencies, such as board governance training workshop that the Good Samaritan Board of Directors is currently working on. Participants learn the roles and responsibilities of a board of directors along with strategies to fulfill those roles and best serve the community in their position of the public’s voice on the agency’s board.

United Way is hiring! The pandemic has also impacted United Way, as many other organizations, in the shortage of support staff. The application is online at jcunitedway.org.