2020 United Way Report to the Community

Jackson County United Way (JCUW) fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our county.  JCUW does this work with deep partnerships and collaborations ensuring impactful programming that creates measurable, lasting change.  At their Annual Meeting on January 27th, United Way invited Board and Community members to hear what is going on in the organization and their goals for this year.  Board President for 2018 & 2019, Adam Jackson, opened the meeting thanking those that attended for their leadership and work in the community.  He shared, “We [United Way Board] would like to honor the individuals and groups who make the work of United Way easier in our community.”  He was thanked for his service and was credited for getting the UW Board to enthusiastically approve a strategic plan and 10-year bold goal. 

Tonja, Couch, Executive Director, thanked 2019-20 Campaign sponsors: WJAA Radio 96.3 FM, AVI FoodSystems, AISIN USA, Artistic Impressions, Jubilee, and Keithley Concessions.  Then she reviewed what happened in 2019, including their collaborative work.  Building off of the 2019-20 Campaign theme of Together Everyone Achieves More, Couch shared, “we know that what we can do as a team is so much more than what we can do alone.”  She then shared several examples of new partnerships that formed in 2019 including co-facilitating poverty simulations, co-hosting the 2019 Mayoral Forum, as well as upgrading their Charity Tracker system that will help improve how partners work together to better serve our neighbors in need of assistance by creating goals with families, providing real time referrals, reducing duplication of services, tracking assistance, and much more.  

Covering Kids & Families Director, Stephanie Strothmann, shared more about the direct signature programs of United Way and showed clear impact regarding the services provided: 

  • Covering Kids & Families experienced great growth in 2019 with enrollments and outreach. This program is focused on changing the county’s state average uninsured rate by connecting individuals and families to state health coverage such as HIP, Hoosier Healthwise, Medicaid and Marketplace.  In 2019, we touched 10,665 residents in our community and provided enrollment services for over 260 individuals. This is an increase of 351% in enrollments from 2018 to 2019.

  • Day of Caring had 197 projects submitted and 1,605 volunteers participated.

  • FamilyWize Community Service Partnership was established to reduce the cost of prescriptions for people who live and work in Jackson County. Since this program began, the FamilyWize-United Way partnership with local pharmacies has saved people living here more than $740,737 on everyday prescription costs for conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and many others. 

  • Free Income Tax Prep program served 516 clients and helped them claim $372,595 in federal refunds. This program runs with 15 dedicated volunteers who served 747 hours.

  • Rock’n Ready School Supply Assistance Program is a county-wide program that provides the opportunity for 1,079 students to shop and build the confidence to return to school with their basic supplies.  Parents surveyed during the event shared that the money saved with the program would pay for back to school clothes, book rental, groceries, and medical costs. The estimated value to the community of this program nearly $50,000 after considering the value of the backpack and volunteer engagement.

  • Jackson County Volunteer Center strives to match volunteers with community needs.  In 2019, through JCUW’s Board, Committees, Programs and Services, we engaged 2,318 volunteers who served 15,417 hours throughout the county.  The estimated investment into the community through their volunteerism totals over $392,042.

Couch shared more about the impact of United Way’s work.  In 2019, we funded a network of 27 programs provided by 20 local non-profit agencies.  The $606,139 investment will directly impact an estimated 30,000 lives Jackson County residents with various services including emergency and crisis assistance, food security, ensuring access to mental and physical health needs, programs for our aging population, helping children and youth succeed, and more. 

Our board is focused on ensuring that we achieve collective impact with partners who work in coordination to drive community change.  JCUW cannot change community conditions unless we are more intentional about how we invest our resources, both time and money. Funds raised from the 2018-19 campaign were awarded to the following programs for the funding period October 2019-December 2020 in five general categories: 

  • Education: $154,800

  • Health: $88,550

  • Financial Stability: $99,250

  • Seniors & Safety Net Services: $21,375

  • Agency Allocations: $242,164

Rev. Dr. Jeremy Myers, Board and Strategic Plan Committee Member, shared more about United Way’s focus bring community change through collaboration in 2020.  He shared, “For months a subcommittee of the board met to talk about the Community Conversation reports, reviewed expert data, and created a strategic plan to deliver on the actions residents said they wanted to see.  Our committee reviewed the 2016 ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) Report, we learned that out of the Jackson County population of 43,637; there are 16,517 households.  Of these households while 14% are living in poverty; and additional 28% or 4,625 households are working, yet struggling to make ends meet.”  He invited attendees to learn more about the life of someone who is ALICE by seeing what choices they have to make by visiting, www.Indiana.makingtoughchoices.org.  After this, he shared “the United Way Board approved in the fall of 2019, a bold goal to move 1,000 working families out of financial struggles and into stability by 2030.”  The first year of the strategic plan, lays out eight new initiatives: 

  • Begin a Financial Stability Vision Council

  • Bring back the JACSY Contest

  • Continue to increase access to health coverage for vulnerable populations, prepare residents taxes to save money, and provide basic schools supplies for students.

  • Create a Safety Net Council

  • Engage youth in service and leadership development initiatives with Youth United.

  • Improve neighbor to neighbor care with focused neighborhood clean-up as part of Day of Caring. 

  • Launch a Resource Round Up to connect people with basic needs and services.

  • Promote and provide financial coaching and education. 

Maci Baurle, Development Director, spoke about the 6th Annual Dine United event in October that had nine participating restaurants and raised a total of $1,831. Baurle said that this year they are hoping to add even more restaurants around the county. She also recognized Luecke’s AVA and Covered Bridge BBQ for their generous support and inclusion in their 67th Anniversary celebration. For every appliance sold, Luecke’s donated $67 to JCUW.  Baurle also honored the following for their total campaign contribution being 1% of our campaign goal: Walmart, Rose Acre Farms, and Home Products, Inc.  She also honored Beatty Insurance with the Most Improved Campaign.  Lead by Nate Tormoehlen and Lance Gentry, Beatty saw an increase of 74% in their Annual Campaign Contribution. We really appreciate the giving spirit of the employees at Beatty and their dedication to helping United Way with their own corporate match.  

Together Everyone Achieves More 2019-20 Campaign Co-Chair, Ann Tormoehlen shared, “This year, the campaign goal was $850,000. The money raised in the annual campaign is invested back into our community to provide services for 3 out of 4 residents of Jackson County. With the addition of two new staff, we were able to take off running the campaign. However, there have been some bumps along the way caused by a few factors. We’re seeing a modification in how and why people give. Workplace campaigns have changed due to our industry leaders not being as closely tied to the community, as well as the shifting of corporate interests.”  She continued, “Thank you to the many corporations that have increased their engagement with United Way in 2019 through volunteerism and hosting workplace campaign presentations.  We appreciate the opportunities provided by our campaign sites to present at all employee meetings the importance of United Way’s work and how easy it is to give through payroll deduction options.”

Ann along with her husband and co-chair, Nate, announced the Top Ten Companies, who collectively raised of $507,000. 

10 Valeo North America, Inc.

9 Beatty Insurance

8 Blue & Co.

7 Nippon Steel Pipe America, Inc.

6 Jackson County Bank

5 Seymour Community Schools

4 Lannett Company, Inc.

3 Schneck Medical Center

2 Aisin Group Companies

1 Cummins

The Top Company, again this year, was Cummins.  Nate shared, “By presenting to all SEP plant staff during the campaign weeks at the plant and hosting fun special events with great employee involvement makes SEP’s campaign top notch.”  He continued, “With Cummins raising over $19,000 at their special events alone, this is what makes their campaign number one.” 

Nate continued, “We wouldn’t have been able to achieve our campaign total.  It is with a lot of hard work, great community support, and a team effort, we are proud to announce that our campaign total this year was 93% of our goal with a final total of $788,407.”

Engagement Director Emily Engelking presented a several awards for service to the community. JCUW recognized the Brownstown Central Fellowship of Christian Athletes with the ‘Power of We’ award for their creation and continued work with the Shed for You in Brownstown. The Shed is open 24/7 and is stocked with food and other items that can be taken with no questions asked. The Volunteers of the Year was awarded to another group, the Valeo Take 10 for their efforts across Jackson County, from calling Bingo for seniors to passing out food in Medora. The JACSY award, given to a person who exemplifies dedicated service to the Jackson County Community, with a strong community spirit shown through extensive volunteerism and direct involvement was awarded to Kendra Zumhingst for her involvement in Double Down Outreach, the Oktoberfest committee, Boys and Girls Club Youth Triathlon, as well as several other organizations. Upon receiving the award Zumhingst said, “I am thankful to live and volunteer in a community that helps others. You will find that helping others see their potential, being a resource or a person to talk to, pays out in the highest of dividends inside! Jackson County CASA, Double Down Outreach and Oktoberfest are a few of my favorite things solidifying why Jackson County is a place to be, live, work and volunteer to make a difference! If you have been wondering how to get involved, let me know I would be happy to help you!”

The following joined the United Way Board for 2020: 

  • 3 Year Terms:

    • Jeff Chalfant, County of Jackson, County Prosecutor

      • Here is why Jeff is joining the JCUW Board, “As the Prosecuting Attorney for Jackson County, United Way is my favorite organization because of its ability to direct resources to a wide variety of worthy and needy causes.  My strongest desire has always been to help people- I can to that here!”

    • Aaron Floyd, Seymour Community Schools, Redding Assistant Principal

      • Aaron shared this with us, “I am excited to join the UW Board because I see the positive impact that they have on providing supports and resources that our families need and want to be involved.  United Way is important to Jackson County because they are instrumental in the long term sustainability to the various service programs that directly impact the children that I get to work with on a daily basis.” 

    • Carly Kaiser, Seymour Community Schools, High School Youth Board Member

      • Here is why a busy High School Freshman is making time to join the UW Board, “I wanted to be a part of the UW Board because I feel that the teens in this community do not have a lot of say in projects.  I am here representing them and bringing their voice.  I want to make a difference in this community.”

  • 2 Year Term:

    • Adam Disque, Brownstown Community Schools, Elementary Teacher

      • Adam shared this with us, “I am greatly looking forward to serving on the United Way board.  I have always had a strong desire to make the lives of people I meet better and this is at the heart of what the United Way does.  Serving on this board is a wonderful opportunity to help impact my community in a practical way.” 

The following Board Members have completed their terms of service: 

years of service.

  • Sara Welden- 1 year of service

  • Luke Turner and Susan Zabor- 2 years of service

  • Jill Miller- 4 years of service

  • Bill Bane (Past Treasurer) and Heather Zickler- 5 years of Service

  • Jeff Hubbard, Dr. Nate Otte (Past President), and Greg Morin- 6 years of service