United Way fundraising short $200K

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MADISON COUNTY – Heart of Indiana United Way projects a 10% shortfall in fundraising this year, prompting the agency to ask individuals and businesses for more help.

“We need to raise approximately $200,000 yet in this campaign to continue providing support to a wide range of essential services,” Jenni Marsh, Heart of Indiana United Way CEO, said in a press release. “The campaign funds vital programs including the THRIVE Network, utility and rent assistance, food supports, childcare, early learning and literacy programs, healthcare enrollments, On my Way Pre-K, disaster preparation and response and more.

“It also provides the support and resources for key volunteer programs like Read United, Operation Weatherization and VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance).”

The agency serves people in Delaware, Fayette, Henry, Madison and Randolph counties. Its campaign goal of $2 million is needed this year to fund basic needs programs and efforts to help families overcome poverty.

According to the agency, a realized shortfall of this size will have a significant impact on the lives on people throughout the community.

“Regardless of whether you use United Way services, a lack of funding for essential programs impacts the entire community,” said Karen Hemberger, Director of Impact of Heart of Indiana United Way.

In the past couple of years, Covid relief funding and other grants have helped meet the needs that exist, “but now those one-time funds from the grant are expended,” Marsh said in the release. “We have neighbors that need help in the year ahead. We need the community’s help and financial support to continue to provide needed funding in Madison County.”

Heart of Indiana United Way provides financial support to many other area organizations.

One local partner agency is Alternatives Inc.

”The emergency funding United Way provided at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was used for hotel stays for domestic violence survivors when our shelter was full,” said Kelly Buzan, chief program officer at Alternatives. “They also provide funding for staff to participate in the THRIVE Network … (which) has been a wonderful opportunity for staff to increase their skills and better serve our neighbors in need.

”It is also important for eliminating barriers for survivors as they reestablish themselves and create a stable future for their families.”

Donations for Heart of Indiana United Way can be mailed to P. O. Box 968, Muncie, IN 47308 or online at heartofindiana.org/donate. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Heart of Indiana United Way was established in July of 2021 when two organizations, the United Way of Madison County (which also serves Fayette county) and the United Way of Delaware, Henry and Randolph Counties, joined forces. Heart of Indiana United Way looks to improve the quality of life in its five targeted communities by engaging people and organizations to advance education, financial stability and access to quality health care.

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