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Increase in ALICE Households in Franklin County Presents Extreme Risk as Public Assistance Programs End

May 1st, 2023

Franklin County’s economic strength is linked to its residents’ financial stability, including ALICE households (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), and research from a new report issued by United for ALICE shows cause for concern, especially as pandemic-related assistance programs conclude. According to the report, which provides data for the entire state of Ohio and each of the state’s 88 counties, there has been a 4% increase in ALICE households in Franklin County from 2019 (194,757) to 2021 (201,848), which equates to 24% of the county’s population. These households need assistance to meet the minimum cost to live and work in the modern economy, which includes housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, a smartphone plan and taxes. Across the state, ALICE households make up 38% of the population. “The data is clear. The cost of basic needs is quickly outpacing wages, making it impossible for people who work in many of Ohio’s most common occupations to make ends meet, let alone emerge out of financial hardship,” said Lisa Courtice, president and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio. Of Ohio’s 20 most common occupations in 2021, 70% earn less than $20 an hour. While many jobs saw a wage increase,…

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2022 Annual Report: Together We Can Change Lives

May 1st, 2023

For 100 years, United Way of Central Ohio’s many corporate and nonprofit partners, individual donors and volunteers in our community have joined with us to help families thrive and ensure students have the opportunities they need to succeed. When we join together, we can change lives. In 2022, thanks to you, we raised and invested more than $3.6 million to strengthen families by assisting with basic needs and over $3.9 million to help students achieve success. Your gifts helped us serve over 376,960 individuals and over 36,600 students through our investments. Thank you for caring about your community and your neighbors. You can see the difference your partnership has made by downloading and reading the 2022 Annual Report here.

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Local Young Authors Create United Way Centennial Activity Book

March 29th, 2023

Thanks to three talented, creative sisters from central Ohio, United Way of Central Ohio has a unique activity book that tells the story of our centennial celebration through the eyes of a curious child. In the book, Zakira, whose name comes from combining the three sisters’ names, meets and becomes friends with local individuals who are supporters of United Way. Young readers (called Sunbeams by Zakira) meet local philanthropists such as Donna and Larry James, Ann Pizzuti, Tanny Crane and Janet Jackson, the former CEO of United Way. Designed for coloring, the illustrated book includes fun activities on every page. Children will have fun doing mazes, riddles, matching games and a crossword puzzle, all while learning about the importance of friendships, volunteering and community service. “The Zakira Presents activity book celebrating United Way of Central Ohio’s centennial is a wonderful reflection of our values of friendship, helpfulness and understanding,” said Lisa S. Courtice, president and CEO. “United Way has been bringing people together for 100 years to make central Ohio a better place for everyone. These young authors worked so hard, using wonderful creativity and thoughtfulness, to tell our story and inspire future generations to help make a difference in…

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A Century United: United Way’s Volunteer Women Leaders

March 24th, 2023

In honor of United Way of Central Ohio’s centennial celebration throughout 2023 and Women’s History Month, we want to recognize the female community leaders who have been instrumental in guiding our mission and vision throughout our history. Nancy Jeffrey paved the way for women leaders at United Way by serving as the first female campaign chair in 1972 and first female board president in 1976. You can read more about Jeffrey and her groundbreaking leadership here. Ten years passed before a second woman, Paula Spence, was elected as board president in 1986 and 1987. Spence was a Columbus businesswoman who served as president and vice chairwoman of HMS Partners, a local advertising agency. She retired in September 1998 and passed away at the age of 88 in 2020. Referred to by some in the community as “the velvet knife,” Spence had the unique ability to bring people together and get things done, all while being gently persuasive. In 1998, Nancy Zimpher became board president, but served only two months before she relocated to Milwaukee to serve as the first female chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Yvette McGee Brown was selected in 2001 as United Way’s board president, becoming the…

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Nancy Jeffrey: United Way’s First Woman Board President

March 9th, 2023

 In recognition of United Way of Central Ohio’s centennial celebration in 2023 and Women’s History Month in March, we’re honoring the visionary women who have served as presidents of our board of trustees throughout our 100 years. The very first female board president for United Way of Central Ohio was the ambitious Anne “Nancy” Kittredge Jeffrey. Jeffrey began her career at United Way, then called the United Appeal of Franklin County, in 1965. At the time, the United Community Council (UCC) served as United Appeal’s planning and research arm. She served as a UCC officer, trustee, member of various planning committees and president over the course of six years. In 1972, the year the organization’s name changed to United Way of Franklin County, Jeffery became the first woman to serve as campaign chair. It is believed that she was the first woman in the national United Way network to lead a campaign over $1.5 million. Many, including then President Harry E. Mayfield described Nancy’s time at United Way as “innovative,” as she was not one to shy away from ambitious goals. As campaign chair, she set an unprecedented dual goal that included a minimum goal of $6.3 million based on…

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Your Giving Tuesday Donation Helps Local Children Succeed

November 16th, 2022

Today is Giving Tuesday! Let’s unite around a common goal: to help families thrive and every child in central Ohio succeed. Learning loss connected to the pandemic is continuing, and families are struggling to make ends meet due to the rising cost of rent and groceries. But here at United Way of Central Ohio, we know there’s a deep well of compassion and generosity in our community. We’ll stand with our neighbors. We’ll rally together to support children who deserve to have equitable opportunities. We’ll unite to make positive lasting change. Just ask Josh Williams, a defender for the Columbus Crew. Josh is a strong advocate for United Way and committed to helping strengthen local families and children. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar. Join us today for Giving Tuesday, when your generosity will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000 thanks to a generous match gift by the Adam and Stephanie Lewin Fund. Giving Tuesday donations will make an even bigger impact, providing basic needs for more families and ensuring more children reach their full potential. > Your gift of $25 = 5 books for young learners > Your gift of $50 = 75 warm meals…

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United Way to Relocate to New Community Impact Center

November 15th, 2022

United Way of Central Ohio and several other nonprofits will soon relocate to 215 North Front Street, the home of the new Community Impact Center. The center is a nonprofit collective that will feature efficiencies of scale and ongoing collaboration to maximize impact when addressing critical needs in central Ohio. “The nonprofit safety net is critical to the viability of any community. By partnering with Nationwide to create a unique, centralized office in downtown Columbus for numerous nonprofits, we can more efficiently, effectively and collectively offer critical support,” said Lisa Courtice, President and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio. “When we stand united, there is nothing central Ohio can’t do—and our friends at Nationwide just made it easier.” In April 2020, Nationwide transitioned to a permanent hybrid work model resulting in the need to thoughtfully repurpose office space. The Community Impact Center is a result of that effort. Nonprofits invited by United Way to be partner tenants in the nine-story, 150,000 square foot space include the YMCA Stable Families administrative offices, Per Scholas, I Know I Can, Future Ready, Communities and Schools, Corporation for Supportive Housing and others. Each nonprofit will move into the space as existing lease agreements…

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United Way to Sell Headquarters for Mixed-Income Housing Development

September 6th, 2022

For nearly 100 years, United Way has been working to improve the lives of others by mobilizing the caring power of our community. For this reason, after deciding in late 2021 to sell our headquarters at 360 S. Third St. in downtown Columbus, we sought a developer who could purchase the property and redevelop it into affordable housing. Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve signed an agreement with Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) and national nonprofit The Community Builders (TCB). The organizations will develop and construct a $70 million, 12-story property with approximately 135 mixed-income housing units, plus commercial space on the first two floors. United Way of Central Ohio’s Real Estate Task Force applied due diligence when reviewing the proposals to purchase and redevelop the property. As a result, we are confident the CMHA-TCB team will improve and enhance the community for residents who already live and work in the area. The drawing depicts a rendering of how the new building could look. The redevelopment of the property comes amid a well-documented shortage of affordable housing in central Ohio. Only 29 affordable housing units are available for every 100 extremely low-income households in the Columbus and Franklin County…

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United Way Adds Two New Board Members and Board Fellow to Roster

July 20th, 2022

United Way of Central Ohio welcomes two new board members and a new board fellow to its board of trustees roster in 2022. Serving three-year terms are Rachel Caviness, National Director of Business Development, Private Client and Family Office Services for BDO; and Elizabeth Martinez, President and CEO of Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Ohio. Tal Bendor, Vice President of Strategy Manager Americas for Swiss Re Americas, has been elected as Board Fellow. Rachel has over 20 years of professional services industry experience in a wide variety of fields, including public accounting, finance and accounting executive recruitment, ERP systems implementation and project management. She started her career with PWC in litigation support and corporate value consulting services and then worked in industry as a financial business analyst. After years of success as an executive finance recruiter, she co-launched a similar consulting firm which was later sold. Prior to joining BDO, she served as a Vice President for a national technology consulting services firm. Rachel also serves as a Finance And Audit Committee member for United Way. From 2003-2015, Elizabeth served in several roles at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio including Chief Operating Officer, Vice President of Programs,…

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Join United Way and the Columbus Metropolitan Club for a Big Table Discussion

September 16th, 2022

Don’t leave your seat empty at the Big Table on Thursday, October 6! Join United Way of Central Ohio and Columbus Metropolitan Club at the Boat House at 679 W. Spring Street from 8:30 to 10 a.m. You’ll have the unique experience of connecting with neighbors while imagining and discussing ways our community can work together to build a stronger, more equitable central Ohio. If you’ve never participated in The Columbus Foundation’s Big Table discussion, then don’t miss it again! If you have, then you know how inspiring these conversations can be. Launched in 2016, The Big Table is a day of communitywide conversations designed to inspire authentic connection and kindness through civic engagement. Conversations will be taking place at dozens of locations across central Ohio. Anyone can participate in The Big Table either by signing up to host a Big Table conversation or by joining a public conversation.  As a participant, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with your neighbors, share your experiences and be heard. Help us create a kinder, more connected community. Seats are limited. REGISTER TODAY.    

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