What is 2-1-1? Where is it? What can they do for me?
Connect2Help 2-1-1 is your local connection to our community’s faith-based, social or government services. Unless you need an ambulance or fire truck (those are 9-1-1 calls) we’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week to direct you to the agency or service that can help.
Have a brother-in-law who is out of work and needs to create a resume? We know who can help!
Does your neighbor need to put food on the table, but is short on cash? We can help!
Is your aunt cleaning out the house and wanting to donate all that stuff? We know who you should call!
Last year 2-1-1 specialists helped more than one quarter of a million callers find food, health care, child care, shelter, a chance to volunteer and more. We can help you!
Just dial 2-1-1. You can call any time from anywhere in Indiana. When you call we’ll ask your zip code because we want to find you the services closest to your home. We’ll also ask general questions about your age and ethnicity. Our services are free, but our funders want to be sure we’re reaching the entire community, and your answers help us capture that information.
If you prefer to look up resources on your own , just visit www.connect2help.org and click on "Search Our Online Resource Database," or click on "Download Free Rainbow Books" for a directory of resources available to you. All this information is free, but it is priceless to the person who doesn’t know where to turn.
Give us a call. Tell a friend. We’re here to help!
-- Shari Morgan, director of operations, Connect2Help's 2-1-1 service
Editor's Note: Since Connect2Help became an independent agency in 1987,* UWCI has invested more than $14 million to link people to human services. This includes grants totaling $864,000 for facility, technology and other targeted needs from funds contributed specifically for these purposes. Also included is $290,000 earmarked for implementation of 2-1-1 in Central Indiana. United Way provided an additional $555,000 to Indiana 211 Partnership, Inc. as a partner in developing and implementing 2-1-1 coverage for all Indiana counties. The agency’s 2013/2014 Community Fund allocation is $684,413.
*For more than 40 years, Information and Referral Network, as it was formerly known, was a program of United Way of Central Indiana.
Your gifts, Anthony’s story: he’s college-bound, thanks in part to leadership lessons from Jameson Camp
Anthony is 17 years old and lives with his great grandmother in a modest but neat home in a neighborhood that could be considered a bit rough. Like many of our campers , his childhood has not been easy.
He first came to Jameson Camp at the age of 13 for a traditional summer session. After his first summer, Anthony applied to be part of our year-round Youth Leadership program. This bright, thoughtful, and artistic young man is now a Counselor in Training (CIT), the top level of our Youth Leadership program.
The Youth Leadership program has positively impacted Anthony’s academic future. “My grades have improved since coming to Jameson Camp because I’ve been really focused on how my life is going and where I’m trying to get to in my life. This is due to the Jameson staff. I talk with them about my plans and how things are going over time.” He is now a senior in high school and plans to attend college next fall.
When he first came to camp, Anthony struggled with social skills and lacked self confidence. “I didn’t like socializing with people. I didn’t know how to express feelings really well or know how to tell anyone what was going on in my life.”
Today, he is considered one our strongest and most dedicated Youth Leaders. He attends every event, volunteers to help at every opportunity, and does a great job in engaging younger campers.
Anthony sees how he has grown as a person and a leader. “I’ve learned to interact with people, learned what social cues are, and how people are feeling. I’ve learned how to help people feel better when they’re not feeling too well. Camp has also helped me be more understanding towards other people’s emotions...”
We celebrate the emerging leader Anthony has become and look forward to his future accomplishments.
-- Cassandra Tice, Jameson Camp
Editor's Note: Since 1993, United Way has invested more than $4 million in support of Jameson Camp’s year-round and summer camping programs for at-risk youth. This includes $2.6 million for capital projects, facilities maintenance, technology and other targeted needs from funds contributed specifically for these purposes. The agency’s Community Fund allocation for the 2013/2014 funding year is $51,111.
Jameson Camp is one of 21 United Way agencies with a significant focus on positive youth development. UWCI’s total allocations to those agencies is just over $4 million for the 2013/2014 funding year.
Lucille's plan was to work at her job building electronic parts "as long as they would have me." But at age 77, that plan fell apart when the company she worked for sent her job to China.
Unemployed and facing a mortgage payment of about $800 a month, Lucille fell behind in her payments. She tried to renegotiate with the lender on her own, but the legal terms they used on the phone and in the mail were confusing and the process hard to understand.
When Lucille was threatened with foreclosure, her daughter suggested she contact Indiana Legal Services Inc., a United Way agency, for guidance. Crystal Francis, the attorney assigned to her case, was soon able to properly submit a loan modification request. The result was a 38 percent reduction in her monthly mortgage payments and a substantial reduction in her mortgage balance.
Today, Lucille is able to take care of her mortgage and she is involved in her community too. She serves on the board of her homeowners association and volunteers at senior health fairs. She makes use of the nearby JCC, another United Way agency, for physical therapy.
Like Lucille, many seniors who are fiercely independent are likely to need help navigating legal challenges when a significant loss of income, job or other unforeseen problems arise. Often, a modest investment of legal assistance can help them protect their equity and their self sufficiency too. When you make an undesignated contribution to United Way, you’re helping seniors like Lucille not only remain independent, but continue giving back to a community they care about too.
- Mary Kinney, public/media relations director
Editor's Note: You can meet Lucille in this story produced by Fox 59. Thanks to United Way and its focus on Income, last year unrestricted contributions helped 1,358 people receive legal services so they could avoid losing their housing.
United Way currently funds three agencies that provide legal advice, education, assistance and/or representation to low-income families and individuals, including the elderly, victims of domestic violence, immigrants and persons with disabilities. Cases are limited to civil matters such as domestic violence, landlord/tenant disputes, bankruptcy/debt, foreclosure, health care, public assistance (e.g., TANF, Medicaid, unemployment), consumer fraud or family law. United Way’s total 2012/13 investment in all three agencies is nearly $638,000, including allocations and donor designations.
Your gifts, William’s story: United Way income investment matched employer with a good worker who now has a good life
Last June, William LaCour, 55, celebrated his 20th anniversary as an employee of Bright Ideas, a Broad Ripple family-owned specialty advertising business. What makes that milestone an even greater cause for celebration is that William's beating the odds by even having a job.
An estimated 70 percent of working age people with disabilities, like William, are unemployed or underemployed. William not only has a steady income that allows him to meet basic needs, but he and his wife live across the street from his office in a home they are buying.
Bev Middaugh, CEO, hired him after a job specialist at Noble of Indiana met with her about offering supported employment for one of their clients. Reluctant at first, Bev did agree to making a list of duties an entry level staffer might do to free up others to focus on their jobs. With that long list, Bev agreed to interview Will, and immediately hired him.
Now, he's the go-to man at Bright Ideas, taking care of cleaning, moving boxes, managing inventory and any number of other daily chores. Joking with Bev, William tells her that he doesn't know "what she would do without him."
In recent years, William and Bev have made presentations to help others see what their experience has proven: an investment in supporting workers like William with training and job placement pays dividends for the whole community.
Once after William spoke to other Noble clients about his work and his life, Bev said his audience was "enraptured that he had the life they wanted. He is their super hero!"
"Will's story beautifully illustrates United Way's mission: helping people learn more, earn more and lead safe and healthy lives," said Rita Davis, Noble's director of community development. "Our jobs can help shape and direct other areas of our lives. By achieving success and finding happiness and self sufficiency in his job, Will has done just that."
--Mary L. Kinney, Public/media relations director
Note: You can meet William and Bev in this story produced by WTHR Channel 13. Thanks to United Way and its focus on Income, 1.114 persons with disabilities worked in competitive wage jobs for a community-based employer or while self-employed in 2011-2012. United Way currently funds seven agencies that provide employment services to people with disabilities. United Way's total 2012/13 investment in those seven agencies is just over $2.1 million. Thank you!
Since 1958, UWCI has invested more than $14 million helping Noble of Indiana. This includes grants of more than $1.2 million for capital, maintenance and technology improvements from funds contributed specifically for such needs. The agency’s 2012/2013 Community Fund allocation is $451,487.
Daisy Miller, age 68, fell out of a car when she was 4 years old and developed Osteomyelitis in her leg bone. The infection never cured, and she battled periodic flare-ups and treatments her entire life. Amputation was finally required, and proud, independent, hard working Daisy had to do something she had never done before: ask for help.
The Westfield trustee referred her to us: PrimeLife Enrichment, a United Way partner, for help with her mortgage, and our social worker arranged for a community partner to make the payment.
Our Assistance to the Homebound Coordinator arranged for SAWS (Servants at Work), a Christian volunteer organization, to build a ramp at her home/business. We also provided a senior companion to help with housekeeping, and found other volunteers to help with some outside work that she was unable to manage.
Reluctantly, Daisy has used our transportation since her surgery. But she prefers to drive herself, and will do so again after she has mastered her permanent prosthesis.
Like Daisy, many people who are fiercely independent will likely always have a time when they need help.
Native of the Ojibwa tribe, Daisy learned to work hard a bit earlier than most. Growing up near Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada, she helped her fur trapper father prepare pelts for market, and worked with her mother to make fishing nets, sew and bead.
The sign in front of Daisy’s Alterations, her Westfield business, states that she can work with leather — an understatement, since Daisy learned to “work with leather” before she learned to read.
She married an American airman who brought her to the U.S. Though the marriage didn’t last, Daisy’s American citizenship did, and America is richer for her choice. She raised the couple’s three children virtually alone.
“I always worked two or three jobs at a time — alterations, factory work, nursing home work.“ Daisy got a few weeks behind in her work after her surgery and the time she needed to learn to walk with her new artificial leg. But soon, she was back to work and again open for business.
--Sandy Stewart, executive director, PrimeLife Enrichment
Note: You can meet Daisy in this story produced by RTV 6. Thanks to United Way and its focus on Health, more than 7,000 senior citizens got help with transportation and received in home services so they did not have to give up their homes and require full time or costly nursing care. Thank you!
United Way currently funds 21 agencies that provide center-based senior programming, either exclusively or as part of a broader services. During the 2011/12 reporting year, more than 48,828 seniors participated in those center-based activities. United Way's total 2012/13 investment in all 21 agencies is just over $4.9 million.
Since 1981, UWCI has invested more than $4.8 million helping PrimeLife Enrichment, Inc. This includes grants of more than $1.8 million for capital, maintenance and technology improvements from funds contributed specifically for such needs. The agency’s 2012/2013 Community Fund allocation is $131,871.
Your gifts, Warren's story: United Way's income, health investments put young father and daughter on path to sounder future
"They modeled me into someone I had in me. I just didn't know how to bring it out."
That's how 20 something Warren Hawkins summed up the payoff of graduating from the Fatherhood Development Workshop, offered by Fathers and Families Center, a United Way agency. Their programs help young, low-income and expectant fathers become responsible and involved parents, wage earners and providers of support to their children.
Warren came to the center after learning that his girlfriend was pregnant. He was struggling to find a job due to past criminal convictions.
With the help of a job recruiter at Fathers and Families, Warren soon found a good job where he now provides second chances to others who struggle. He is in a position to help other young fathers, and has hired about 10 of the other Fathers and Families grads to help them provide for their families.
You can meet this impressive young man and his toddler daughter Lauryn, in this story produced by WXIN FOX 59. The scene of him helping his little girl brush her teeth to get ready for the day is one of those small, every day moments that spoke to me, showing more powerfully than any words, what this investment makes happen.
Anyone who contributes to United Way is a part of Warren's success. Last year, thanks to United Way givers, more than 13,400 people in Central Indiana received job readiness or job search assistance as part of United Way’s income focus, like Warren. And, more than 9,600 people participated in parenting education programs as part of United Way's health focus, also like Warren.
Since 2003, UWCI has invested more than $1.5 million in support of Fathers and Families Center’s efforts to improve the life chances of children by helping young fathers achieve self-sufficiency and become responsible, involved parents. This includes grants totaling $218,297 from United Way’s Capital Projects, Facilities Maintenance and Technology Funds. (These funds are contributed specifically for such needs.) The Center’s current Community Fund allocation is $125,804.
--Mary L. Kinney, Public/media relations director
Editor's note: Experts agree that if we're serious about improving educational outcomes for children, we must start in the critical early years of a child's brain development. It's also a reality that kids from low-income families typically start school 1-2 years behind their peers, and many never catch up. Most often, these kids spend their days in programs that offer no educational opportunities, let alone meet basic safety and health standards.
As part of United Way's long-term plan to turn that around, we are working with child care ministries like Charity Child Care in Haughville, one of the most impoverished Indianapolis neighborhoods.
In December, Charity became the first child care ministry in the state to reach the highest level of achievement on Indiana’s Paths to QUALITY rating scale. United Way was among community partners who helped, investing a modest amount, about $10,000, for extraordinary returns, as Director Juaneka "Nikki" Ennis describes.
In October 2008, Charity Child Care had reached its peak enrollment of 200 children in its then 13- year history. Great things were happening! Children were being cared for in a loving manner and in a clean and safe environment. We screened and trained our caregivers and teachers. Overall, families were satisfied.
Remember the old saying, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it?” At Charity, we rejected that thinking, choosing to strive for an even higher quality of care because quite simply, our children deserve the best.
After researching Paths to Quality, a rating scale, we decided to pursue the highest level of quality. Everyone was on board to make the major changes needed.
First, we had to host an onsite, nine-month course though Ivy Tech State College so that 12 staff members could earn their Child Development Associate national accreditation We also needed to create an infant-toddler playground, improve the preschool and school age playgrounds; and purchase developmentally appropriate curriculum and play items to create learning interest centers in 12 classrooms.
These changes required teamwork from everyone - staff members, our governing church, and families. It also required help from the outside. United Way in particular was an invaluable partner providing an onsite mentor who helped with every aspect; and buying toys, books, furniture and computers along with funding professional development.
After four years, Charity eached the highest level of achievement on Indiana’s rating scale and accreditation by the National Association of Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA) as a Level 4 Paths to Quality provider.
It has been an invaluable experience. And the results are abundant:
--children are cared for and taught in a high quality environment that is both challenging and age-appropriate;
--their specific needs are assessed and addressed;
--staff members receive ongoing education in early childhood;
--staff members earn a living wage that meets the needs of their own families;
--enrolled families have access to a wealth of resources;
--and, the holistic needs of all children served.
As the first and only registered child care ministry in Indiana to earn Level 4 status, Charity Child Care is proud of our collective accomplishment. Faith in God fueled us to pursue early childhood excellence. We hope to inspire other ministries to do the same.
For more on the story by Fox 59, click here.
--Juaneka "Nikki" Ennis, Charity Child Care program director
Have you kept track of how many times you've heard or seen the phrase "fiscal cliff" in the past month? Whenever I run across those words, I'm mentally substituting the word "human" in front of "cliff," thanks to an article by Tim Delaney I read in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
It's important to put a human face on the suffering of people if jobs and services they rely on were to suddenly disappear, Delaney wrote.
In my work at United Way, I'm fortunate to get to meet people who have been on the edge of some pretty steep personal cliffs, and hear their stories about the path down from crisis.
One young mother who stands out is Amanda. She represents an alarming spot on the poverty chart: single-headed households with children and no high school degree have the highest poverty rate at 51 percent.
You can hear Amanda talk about how the help she received through Hawthorne Community Center, a United Way funded agency on the west side, was integral to her path to financial stability for her and for her son.
Hawthorne is one of 45 United Way agencies that focus on helping people improve their education, training, employability and overall financial outlook thanks in part to United Way's income investments.
In less than a year, Amanda earned her GED, got help finding a full-time job, found affordable housing, and enrolled in Ivy Tech to pursue human resources.
Everyone who contributes to United Way helped Amanda down from her cliff, and thousands of others in Central Indiana too. Thank you!
--Mary L. Kinney, Public/media relations director
Editor's note: Indiana is one of 12 states with no public pre-k program, so child care is our early learning system. Child care is in high demand . But there are too few high-quality programs serving low-income families, and too few low-income families choose high-quality programs. To change that, both program and policy changes are needed. Bethany, a multi-cultural child care provider on the south side of Indianapolis, is one center in which United Way has invested as part of a 10-year plan to help improve quality. Here is what their director says about what those changes mean.
The many gifts from United Way have enabled us to recently advance to Level II in Paths To QUALITY, Indiana's measuring stick to help parents locate quality educational care. We believe that, regardless of their economic status, every family wants a safe, loving, education for their child beginning in infancy. We see our mission as lovingly assisting families through life’s journey – a journey that is often full of daily challenges.
Many children in our care live with grandparents, and many others are in the state's care. Several children have behavioral issues which must be addressed for them to succeed in school. We care for children who have one, and sometimes both parents, incarcerated. We have cared for babies born addicted to drugs. And, outside of normal business hours, our staff has temporarily cared for children when one parent was found to have a drug addiction.
United Way's partnership helped us make thousands of dollars of safety changes to our building that we could not otherwise afford. But the changes go far beyond the basics. United Way has also opened the door to partnerships with volunteers who, in late August, transformed an empty field into an outdoor learning center.
As a part of United Way's Day of Caring, more than 200 volunteers from Community Health Network descended upon our center for more than two days to create a community playscape. From the ground-up, volunteers built a hillside slide with a crawl through tunnel, a Noah’s Ark climbing structure for dramatic play, a bike path and a storage barn with a stage surrounding it to get their creative juices flowing through drama.
What a joy to see Breonna, who wouldn't leave her teacher's side, climb and pretend play on the Noah's Ark. It was a major breakthrough! The first day, it took 45 minutes to get Garret out of the tunnel when his Dad came to pick him up.
And there's more! Above ground planter boxes were built and will help teach our children the joy of gardening and connect to nature. This army of volunteers also designed and built a labyrinth and meditation path. We are so excited to have this wonderful space for our children and our community to use.
United Way's partnership is also good for our teaching staff because it provides funds to further their education. And when our staff is better at their job, the children and families benefit too!
We are proud of our many accomplishments in our quest to serve our community's children and families and humbled to receive so many wonderful gifts to help us provide the most important foundation of early learning. United Way's support is allowing us to extend a hand-up to families who truly need our help to provide a brighter future for tomorrow.
--Deborah Rohrman, director of Bethany Daycare & Preschool
When life or work brings challenges both large and small, all of us at Lilly know how important it is to have the support of good colleagues and friends to see us through.
For Steve and Becky Schenck, such assistance became incredibly important one morning in 2006, when Becky woke up unable to speak. Diagnosed with stage four brain cancer, Becky has been living with her illness ever since, beating the odds many times over with the benefit of excellent medical treatment and supportive family and friends. Grateful for — and inspired by — this outstanding care, Steve has dedicated himself to making a difference to others as co-chair of United Way of Central Indiana's 2012 annual campaign.
In sharing their story, Steve and Becky have a simple goal: to remind us that anyone can experience an unexpected challenge, and that no one should have to face such battles alone. By contributing to United Way, you can provide a lifeline of hope and help for those who might otherwise have nowhere else to turn.
Be sure to watch Steve and Becky's story, and thank you for LIVING UNITED.
John C. Lechleiter, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer
Eli Lilly and Company