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News & Events

Success by Third Grade: A Communitywide Movement

September 8th, 2023

When we strengthen families by helping them access resources, we also open up opportunities for their children to be better prepared to learn and succeed in school. Your gift to United Way stays here to benefit our community today and strengthen it for tomorrow. Our work is powered by people and local businesses that are…

The Hardy Center: Providing Opportunities for Children and Youth in Linden

September 8th, 2023

The Hardy Center offers after-school and summer programs that provide children in Linden with school-based instruction, individualized tutoring and homework help, healthy meals and caring adult mentors. Children develop a sense of belonging and have access to opportunities that prepare them for future success in school and life. The center is just one of many…

Festa’s Free Summer Lunch Camp

September 8th, 2023

United Way of Central Ohio partners with nonprofits across our community to strengthen families in numerous neighborhoods. As poverty has spread to Franklin County’s suburbs, so have our investments. With support from United Way, Festa’s Free Summer Lunch Camp feeds and nurtures hundreds of children each summer when free and reduced lunches through school are…

Out-of-School Time Programs Provide Opportunities and Resources

September 21st, 2022

According to 9-year-old Cesar, his favorite thing about the Boys & Girls Club is playing sharks and minnows with his friends. His dad, on the other hand, appreciates the Club because it has opened up a new world of friends and opportunities for Cesar. Like many children in families where English is not widely spoken…

Lakeea’s Story

September 21st, 2022

When Lakeea talks about her daughters, Zoe and Calliah, her face lights up. “We’re like the three amigos,” she says. “They are my world.” After a sudden eviction notice turned Lakeea’s world upside down, she was referred to United Way’s Stable Families program. Her Stable Families coordinator, Nate, shared Lakeea’s desire to keep life as…

Daylon and Rob’s Story

September 21st, 2022

Rob was matched with his Little Brother, Daylon, more than ten years ago. Back then, Daylon says with a smile, Rob could easily beat him in basketball, their favorite pastime. That, and many other things, have changed now that Daylon is age 19 and getting ready to start college. With encouragement and guidance from Rob,…

Creating Brighter Futures for Urban Students

March 16th, 2022

For Chris Martinez and Joy Carson, Community for New Direction’s (CND) FOCUS program provided them with exactly what the name says – focus. Through CND’s Future Opportunities Created for Urban Students (FOCUS) program, central Ohio students like Chris and Joy tour local colleges, participate in monthly student-led service projects, and learn about viable career options…

Tanya Rose: Helping Kids and Families Thrive in Franklinton

January 4th, 2022

You likely won’t find a stronger, more passionate advocate for Gladden Community House or its preschool program then Tanya Rose. And for good reason. Tanya grew up in the Franklinton neighborhood near the settlement house and remembers her parents using the food pantry and other services in hard times. Then she placed her son in…

Joy Carson: Heading into a Bright Future

December 2nd, 2021

Joy Carson was a good student at a Columbus City Schools high school, but she admits she lacked motivation and direction at times. That all changed when she joined FOCUS during her freshman year. After seeing the friends and opportunities her older brother gained through FOCUS, which stands for Future Opportunities Created for Urban Students,…

Student Success Stores: Meeting the Basic Needs of Central Ohio’s Students

October 22nd, 2021

Meet an inspiring local hero. As a leader behind Student Success Stores, Sarai Exil is helping students throughout central Ohio get access to basic needs. While serving in schools through AmeriCorp, Sarai noticed many students were unable to meet their basic needs. Knowing how this lack of resources impacts learning, she helped launch Student Success…

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