Funded Programs 2020
We fund programs in the Impact Areas of Education, Health, and Family Stability, which were decided by our Board of Directors to be the most critical areas of need in our Community.
At the United Fund, we believe that education is the foundation upon which we build our future. That’s why we fund programs that have proven to nurture families with educational opportunities to achieve full potential.
Group Activities – Reach Our Youth
Your United Fund donation helps provide group activities year-round to local, at-risk youth in the Reach Our Youth Program. Activities include bowling, skating, summer picnic, Christmas party, etc. All youth & mentors are invited, including the youth on the waiting list.
Age Exchange – Services for Aging
Provides a mentoring relationship to local at-risk 3rd graders by pairing them with a senior volunteer who helps them with homework and has important conversations. The Age Exchange Program enriches the lives of both seniors and kids!
Preschool – KinderCasa
KinderCasa is the only preschool program in Norwalk that is dedicated to teaching English along with kindergarten readiness skills. They also provide transportation to and from school free of charge to the students they serve.
Tuition Scholarships – Norwalk Childcare Center
Provides affordable, safe & nurturing childcare for children (ages 6wks - 12yrs) while their families work and/or go to school.
Pathway of Hope – Salvation Army
The program provides individualized services to families with children who
desire to take action to break the cycle of generational poverty.
- One year of free voluntary case management.
- Education of community resources
- Six-month follow-up and assessment
Dedicated to improving the overall health of our community, because
healthier families mean a healthier community.
Patient Services – Cancer Services
Cancer Services provides travel and prescription reimbursement to local, qualifying cancer patients. They also have dietary supplements, medical equipment loan program, and other small items that are beneficial to cancer patients!
Direct Assistance – Kidney Foundation
The Kidney Foundation provides transportation reimbursement and prescription assistance to local renal patients.
Meals on Wheels – Services for Aging
Meals on Wheels provides and delivers a balanced and nutritional noon-time meal throughout the year for senior citizens having difficulty preparing their own meals. A daily safety check is also provided at each stop.
Summer Youth Feeding Program – Salvation Army
Providing nutritious meals & physical activity during the summer
when they are not available at schools.
Adult Advocacy Program – Catholic Charities
Provides a voice and an advocate for older adults who are at risk for neglect, abuse and exploitation. An individual decision maker is put in place to advocate and promote safety, stabilize living conditions, increase access to care, and prevent/end fraud, theft, abuse and exploitation of the elderly.
We fund programs that act as short term safety net services to get people
back on their feet.
Clothing – Norwalk Clothing Bank
The Huron County Clothing Bank provides eligible individuals with clothing at no cost.
Social Services – Salvation Army
Short-term counsel during basic need crisis, advocacy and referral to community resources, and emergency funding available for miscellaneous financial assistance.
Senior Express Transportation – Services for Aging
Provides rides to doctor appointments, family visits, grocery shopping or other social activities. - Rides are donation based.
Miriam House – Catholic Charities
Provides safe and stable housing to homeless women and their children while teaching life skills such as: financial management, problem solving, healthy decision making, education/marketable skills, nutritional meal planning, cooking, and proper home cleaning.
Some transportation is also provided.
Community Emergency Services – Catholic Charities
The purpose is to fill in the gap where there are not available resources to provide for stability in living situations, maintaining employment and meeting basic needs such as heat, water and electric service. Also provides referral services to available assistance and follow-up to make sure they have received the help they requested.
Norwalk Emergency Shelter – Erie-Huron-Richland CAC
Provides emergency shelter, food, and other necessities for up to 90 days. Will help to locate permanent housing and a reliable source of income.
Outreach & Community Support – Wakeman Caring Community
Provides emergency assistance to members of the Wakeman Community (i.e. rent, electric) for up to $300 once a year. Provides a food bank on the last Tuesday of each month.
Service to the Armed Forces – American Red Cross
Puts military families in contact with deployed loved ones when an emergency occurs.
Disaster Response – American Red Cross
Disaster response services exists to provide disaster preparedness, response & recovery services to individuals and/or families that experience disaster events.
Reach Our Youth
When Joey* was in junior high he joined Reach Our Youth and was matched with a male mentor. His mentor quickly learned that he was a very "hands on” learner, and began bringing him to the shop where he worked. Joey has been helping at the shop and learning new skills which he thoroughly enjoys and seems to have a natural talent for repairing and building things. Joey’s self-esteem has flourished during this experience. His mentor said “We set goals together on a weekly basis to keep each other accountable. It’s very rewarding watching him become more confident.”
Alejandro* was four years old when he began at KinderCasa Preschool. Coming from a Spanish-speaking household, he did not speak any English at the beginning of the school year. He also had underdeveloped kindergarten readiness skills. Though he is very smart, he simply had not been exposed to an environment in which these skills could develop. Throughout the school year, Alejandro had the opportunity to participate in enriching learning activities and explore educational games, toys, puzzles, and books.
Quick to understand, then speak English, his kindergarten readiness skills flourished and towards the end of the year, he was able to have a back-and-forth conversation in English! He was ready for kindergarten by the end of the school year.
Thanks in very large part to the United Fund, we have been able to provide a quality kindergarten readiness program that meets Alejandro’s needs, as well as transportation to and from school– without which he would have been unable to attend.
Jo Ann* went to Cancer Services after being diagnosed with breast carcinoma with lymph node involvement. She was scared, confused and over-whelmed. The doctor said she needed to have a mastectomy and that she would lose her hair due to the chemo and radiation that was forthcoming. She and her husband had to tell their daughter that mom had to have surgery and that she was going to lose her beautiful hair. Her young began to cling to her more than ever. The whole family was impacted by a diagnosis of cancer.
Cancer Services provided Jo Ann with wigs, turbans, hats and scarves for her impending hair loss, a lift chair, shower bench and raised toilet seat to help make it easier for Jo Ann to go about her daily activities, and post-surgical camisoles that would provide compression, as well as support for her draining wounds. They even gave her daughter a knitted doll that has removable hair, along with an educational website with videos that may help explain cancer and the entire process to kids.
Jo Ann had to transition from being the main caregiver to allowing others to care for her- a difficult transition for many cancer patients.
We were able to provide all of these services to Jo Ann and her family at no charge.
Meals on Wheels
Bob is an elderly man who lives alone, but has difficulty preparing his own meals and sometimes forgets to eat. Meals on Wheels has made it possible for Bob to maintain his autonomous lifestyle, yet gives him a nutritional meal during the week and a daily safety check to ensure all is well. He has began to look healthier and looks forward to his daily visits with the volunteers.
When Laura came to the Miriam House, she was 19 years old and her child was an infant.
As a child, Laura experienced a significant amount of trauma. She grew up in a dangerous environment and was placed in foster care where she was abused. Laura was moved to respite until she aged out of the system. While in respite, she discovered she was pregnant. The only place she had to go was her mother’s house. However, the danger at her mother’s began to escalate after giving birth. She knew she needed to find a safe home.
Laura tried moving into her own apartment, but soon realized it was too much for her to manage. She lost the apartment and relocated to to a state where her father was living. Things did not go as planned and she found herself residing in a shelter in this new state. Knowing she could no longer remain in that environment with a baby, they moved back to Ohio.
When Laura returned, she went to the Metro housing office where they referred her to the Miriam House. She told us "Being at the Miriam House was the first time I have felt safe. It’s such a relief to not have to worry about my baby and I’s needs or safety.” The Miriam House linked her with many resources including; food stamps, medical, cash assistance, WIC, Firelands Counseling, and the Rape Crisis Center.
In total, Laura and her baby resided at the Miriam House for 11 months. During that time, she obtained her GED and got her driver’s license. She also received her metro voucher and was able to successfully transition out of Miriam House.
Today she is living independently with her child, while working in health care. Laura stated that she "Would have never been able to overcome these obstacles if it wasn't for the Miriam House".
One of our Miriam House residents has been working at a local nursing home for over 6 months. She has saved approximately $500.00 and is close to moving to her own apartment. She has a happy, healthy, baby boy and is a remarkable mother. With her new car and expenses paid off, she and her son will be able to have a fresh start in life.