At F.C. Tucker we talk a lot about “paying our civic rent,” so for the month of November, we would like to express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who serve their communities tirelessly and make Indiana a better place to live and work. We obviously can’t highlight everyone, but we would like to salute these 30 organizations that are making a difference.
30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 6: United Way
Celebrating their 100th year of charitable giving, the United Way of Central Indiana has become one of the most impactful nonprofit organizations in the state. The main ethos of United Way is to help the communities of Indiana live better quality lives. They are able to do this through specializing in areas like financial stability, health, education and other basic needs. They work in some of the major counties in the state including Marion, Hendricks, Hamilton, Boone and Morgan where they partner with local organizations in an effort to improve the lives of those less fortunate.
One of the main partnerships the United Way participates in is involves our very own Indianapolis Colts. Just last month, they worked together with the team to build a fitness center at the Wheeler-Dowe Boys and Girls Club. This was part of a greater effort through their collaborative Hometown Huddle program to rebuild fitness centers across the state meant to improve the well-being and overall health of Hoosier kids. This particular one marked the 5th center that the two have built together. Colts players and cheerleaders joined the United Way employees in opening the center for the kids at the Boys and Girls Club. The two are also working together to provide tickets to one lucky winner to the 2018 Super Bowl!
Sports aside, the United Way works in many ways that more directly effect the day to day lives of Hoosier families. Take their Basic Needs program which helps provide just that, basic necessities for low-income families and individuals. They also partner with the federal Energy Assistance Program to provide financial assistance to families who have trouble paying their heating bills come winter time. This helps lift a massive financial burden from families already struggling to stay afloat. More so, the United Way’s Centers for Working Families are brick-and-mortar centers where people can come in and access all sorts of services aimed to “lift them out of poverty and achieve long-term financial stability”.
Finally, their Education department is one of the foundational aspects of the work they do as it focuses in on early childhood development, and beyond. With the ReadUP program, they’re able to pair volunteers with local schools where they’ll read to children for 30 minutes each and every week. This is designed to keep kids on their projected path when it comes to literacy. Readers United is similar in that they pair volunteers with preschool schools to promote reading. Another UW program, All IN 4 Pre-K, combines this with overall pre-k education by working with business leaders and community organizers to expand this level of learning.
Throughout all of the United Way’s website, you’ll find numerous links to sign up for volunteering and giving. They even have a helpful diagram to give donors an idea of what exactly their money will do to help those in need. As little as $8 a month will provide school supplies for 40 students while $80 a month is enough to feed a family of 4 for nearly 5 months. It’s amazing what a little bit of charitable giving is capable of. And the United Way is doing their part in bringing together those who give, to those who need it most.