TROY — The 2017 campaign is in full swing for the United Way of Troy’s 29 agencies. Agencies have answered the call to share their stories on how each unique organization helps local people throughout the year.
From early childhood literacy to senior citizens sharing their talents and wisdom each day, each dollar donated helps fuel the needs of the Troy community all year long.
The money raised during the campaign, which ends the first week of December, fuels the 29 agencies and the people in the community they serve throughout the year.
According to the United Way of Troy Executive Director Richard Bender, this year’s goal is to raise $825,000.
The agency raised approximately $770,000 during its 2016 campaign.
The United Way of Troy relies on donations to help fund the various programs across its partner agencies.
If you are interested in learning more about Troy’s United Way agencies or how to become a businesses partner or donor, contact Bender at (937) 335-8410.
To donate online or to sign-up for a payroll deduction, visit www.unitedwayoftroy.org
New Creation Counseling Center
New Creation Counseling Center have seen an increase in the lives of those who are involved in the heroin crisis in our community. Specifically, we have been able to increase our services to younger children.
In more than one situation, staff have experienced the removal of children from their biological parent(s) to their grandparents.
This has been a transition for both the child and grandparent. With the help of counseling and play therapy, staff have seen a healing with the child and increased confidence of the grandparent to provide a consistent, loving environment to the child.
It is a challenging time for a grandparent to still be able to love their addicted child and provide care for their suffering grandchild.
Walking beside such a family is a blessing.
Troy Senior Citizen Center
People join the Troy Senior Citizen Center for any number of reasons, but a common theme is companionship and similarities. The Center has something for everyone and also gives back to the community. The outreach chairman had an inspiration for the Center to make soft and warm blankets for Hospice of Miami County. Her compassion is infectious as the Center volunteers have made 114 blankets for Hospice patients. Her compassion doesn’t stop there. Because of her vision and big heart, the Center is going to reach out to our member shut-ins and members in nursing homes with a special surprise. I would be remiss if I didn’t talk mention the Center Line Dancers “Swinging Seniors” while talking about outreach.
The Line Dancers not only get two hours a week of great energizing exercise for mind and body, but they also delight many people with contagious joy. The Swinging Seniors perform out in the community as an outreach. This is not only a love of dance but a love of mankind. They get as much back from their audience as they give to them.
American Red Cross
It’s not just “giving” away smoke detectors that make this American Red Cross program life- saving; it’s the one on one education with families that make a real life and death difference. The Red Cross knocks on every door in the neighborhood and when it opens, their lifesaving begins.
Did you know that smoke alarms become less sensitive over time? Or that you only have two minutes to escape a smoke-filled house? Do you know the correct location to install a smoke alarm in your home? Our volunteers are trained to answer all of these questions and more, while installing your alarms in your home.
Meet Tracy, she is a remarkable woman of God! She is a special lady in our midst. Tracy has been volunteering in the New Path office as part of the WEP program; better explained as a Work for Welfare program. Tracey has had two knee surgeries and has been off work for recovery, but in order to receive cash assistance Tracy must do some kind of work for a non – profit or at Jobs & Family Services. She has a bright disposition even though she has had many struggles in life.
Tracy is a hard working single mom with a daughter in High School; we know Tracy well as she works hard at a local Subway but doesn’t make enough to make ends meet. Tracy felt like God was calling her to work with us, and we were happy to allow her to do so. Tracy wasn’t sure she’d be much help, since she can’t do much but sit. But Tracy has discovered a buried treasure; she is a fisher of door prizes for the Purses with a Purpose Event!
Tracy listens to God leading her to contact businesses and nearly every day she has worked she gains another gift card or gift items. Our staff has many irons in the fire and hasn’t had time to follow- up on a mailing for sponsors and gifts for our guests. Tracy has a way with people and opens them up so effortlessly. People are responding to her phone calls. Tracy would love to stay employed with us as an employee, but funding isn’t there to hire on someone else. Regardless of that fact, Tracy comes in everyday and gives her all. She like Simon obeys when she is told where to cast her nets. She is a remarkable woman, and when he time here is over, she will be deeply missed. Although she says she is going to serve on her day off!
Child Care Choices
Child Care Choices make about 100 referrals for child care annually. Quite often I can hear tremendous relief in the voice of a parent or grandparent who needs an immediate solution.
• The single parent working second shift at a hospital whose childcare provider was suddenly no longer available. This happened this month in Troy and the principal of the school knew who the parent should call.
• A mom concerned about finding excellent care for her child with Down Syndrome.
• A mom concerned about a smooth return to work after the baby is born.
A child care solution gives her peace of mind.
Referrals for child care are only a fraction of what we do in the Troy/Casstown area.
Child Care Choices also operates the Story Lady program, getting books into the hands of several hundred young children in Miami County each year.
And provides more than 30 trainings each year, assuring that the quality of child care remains top notch in our community.
Miami County Public Health / Maternal Child Health Clinic
Miami County Prenatal Wellness Center helps women who are pregnant but can’t find an OB/GYN to take them as patients.
A young lady moved here from Kentucky. She had Medicaid in Kentucky however when she moved to Ohio she had to wait until Kentucky Medicaid was stopped before she could get Ohio Medicaid.
This process can take a couple months to complete. Staff were able to see her during this time without insurance.
During her intake, it was found out that she was living with her parents, but she had no items for the baby, limited transportation, and she was a smoker.
The Prenatal Wellness Center was able to refer her to RIDES program for transportation assistance.
She participated in our Baby Bucks program to learn about her developing baby and earn items to help care for the baby.
Due to her transportation issues, they were able to have her to do the education when she came to see the doctor.
A few days before she delivered she was able to earn a pack-n-play.
In Ohio, three babies per week die due to not having a safe sleep surface.
She joined and completed the Baby and Me Tobacco Free Program by quitting smoking.
This entitled her to $25 diaper voucher each month she remains smoke-free until the baby is 12 months.
The clerk worked with Department of Job and Family Services to get all paperwork to have her Medicaid switched from Kentucky to Ohio.
Staff were so pleased when she stopped in a few weeks after delivery to let us know she and the baby were doing well.
When it comes time for her six week post- delivery visit, staff will be able to assist her with obtaining the birth control option of her choice.
The Future Begins Today
“Since he started the program he’s so much more independent, he’s positive about school and getting work done. I’ve seen a difference in his behavior this year and he’s so motivated to keep his grades up too. Now he wants As and checks his own grades and progress. He wasn’t motivated like this before he started with Future. It has done wonders for him. He looks forward to his meetings and has taken to it so well. I’m so glad he gets to be part of Future!” — Parent of TFBT Club student
“… Thank you for being so nice to me when we eat lunch with each other. I’m super glad you’re my special friend. When I’m down in the dumps…you always pick me up and make me laugh. I like that I can talk to you about any thing and you still accept me for who I am. I’m blessed to have you for a Lunch Buddy and words certainly can’t express how I feel for having you as a friend, adult and someone I can look up to as an example when I’m in some trouble or difficult times. I really like you as my Lunch Buddy and I love you as a family member.” — TFBT Club student
Kurtis grew up with his loving grandparents, who enrolled him into TFBT Club in the fourth grade at Hook Elementary School in 2004. In addition to his weekly meetings, he attended several spring break camps, was nominated and selected for a 10- day summer camp opportunity, and was paired with his Lunch Buddy mentor, Mike, for five years. Since his graduation from Troy High School, he received four annual Last Dollar Gr ant awards and has completed more than 275 community service hours most often helping Troy students. Kurtis researched and planned for his future at a young age through his TFBT involvement, setting personal goals to someday become a lawyer and to establish a non- profit that benefits youth. It kept his behavior in line, his eye on his education and in an environment of academic support. Fast forward 13 years later, Kurtis has now earned his bachelors in political science from the University of Kentucky and has begun his courses at Louisiana State University for Law School.
“I’ve become who I am today with the guidance I’ve gotten in ‘Future.’ And I know that the kids that I get to volunteer with now will have bright futures too! I owe a lot of thanks to the people of ‘Future’ who have shown me that they care.” — Kurtis Johnson, TFBT Club student & Last Dollar Grant recipient
Clubhouse with Dream Builders Group Inc.
Clubhouse focuses on training teens in leadership roles while providing free after-school and summer activities to child whose parents couldn’t easily afford childcare. Last year, 400 teens and 350 children were served 110 days free charge. Teens help children learn life skills and two days a week help with homework and tutoring in small groups.
Lauren has been a part of Clubhouse for most of her life.
She first came to The Clubhouse After-School Program as a second grader.
“I remember getting excited at the end of the school day to go to Clubhouse,” said Lauren. “Not just because of the activities, but because it was a fun place and the teen leaders made me feel like I could figure out my homework and have big dreams. They cared about each and every one of us. Clubhouse made me realize that even the smallest things can make the biggest difference.”
Lauren loved attending Clubhouse so much, that she became a teen leader. She was now leading the challenging after- school and summer programs for families that couldn’t afford child care.
“I realized just one person (me) in a few short hours can change someone’s life or point them in the right direction,” said Lauren. “Clubhouse helps shape people. It gives them a place to belong and provides life skills some kids will never receive otherwise.”
As a teen leader, Lauren not only provided tutoring and faith-based teachings to the children, she also learned leadership skills and the importance of giving back — something she’ll carry with her forever.
“Clubhouse has been nothing but a positive effect on me,” said Lauren. Lauren is now out of school and no-longer a teen leader, but she’s still giving back as she chairs the Clubhouse Scholarship committee.
Family Abuse Shelter
Bridgett came to the Family Abuse Shelter requesting help after a Domestic Violence incident. When she first arrived at the shelter’s doors she was in crisis and frightened. Although she wanted the abuse to end, she reported being afraid of leaving the life she knew behind. She wondered how would she make it? Bridgett was assisted with crisis intervention and safety planning. During this time, she disclosed an extensive history of physical and emotional abuse, beginning all the way back to when the couple started dating. Bridgett reported still getting married because she believed the relationship would improve if they did. Sadly, she quickly found out that was not the case.
While assisting Bridgett, legal advocates provided by the Family Abuse Shelter assisted her to obtain a protection order that covered both her and her children. Then, they helped her to obtain an attorney who assisted Bridgett with filing for a divorce and addressing custody issues. During this time, Bridgett was also connected to individual counseling to help her to begin processing the feelings of fear, confusion and devastation she was experiencing.
As time progressed Bridgett was assisted to obtain employment and housing that she could afford, where she continues to reside today. Bridgett still maintains regular contact with the Family Abuse Shelter so the staff can help monitor her safety and provide ongoing support.
Bridgett is a survivor of domestic violence; a title she wears proudly. Because of the financial support received through the United Way of Troy, the Family Abuse Shelter is able to ensure that vital services remain readily available for women like Bridgett when they reach out for them. The United Way is helping to provide a lifesaving services.
Family Abuse Shelter outcomes during 2016:
• 463 unduplicated people were provided with emergency shelter
• 10,752 bed nights were provided which means one person spending one night in shelter care, eating three meals, showering, laundry, etc.
• 66 percent of households sheltered had children under the age of 17 in them
• 85 percent of individuals exiting emergency shelter moved into permanent housing
• 76 percent of individuals sheltered obtained employment while in shelter care
• 417 individuals not in shelter care were provided with legal advocacy.