Butler County United Way has funded many programs across the county, including at the Hamilton Boys & Girls Club, where programs provide youth with enriching life activities they may not otherwise have due to their socioeconomic circumstances. CONTRIBUTED

United Way is distributing more than $650K to Butler County agencies. Here’s what it’s doing.

Krystal Tipton, vice president of community impact for the United Way chapter, said that’s because such programs have been shown to be effective in helping grow future self-sufficient citizens and families.

“With kids, if they have an early start to education and then they remain successful, they’ll go on to be self-sufficient and ready for the workforce, and be able to live on their own, if they have the tools to guide them through that,” she said.

Matthew Weil, who runs the Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton on Grand Boulevard during the school year, said money that goes toward his organizations’ After School and Summer Youth Development programs helps students with their homework and reading skills, among other things.

Of the students who participate, somewhere around the mid-90s percent successfully step up to the next grade, and they typically improve their reading skills by a grade and a half, Weil said.

“Generally, our kids that we bring in specifically to help with their reading,” Weil said, “they’re going up a grade and a half. Because we have some kids who are hardly reading, and they’re first graders.”

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United Way will allocate more than $287,000 to 13 educational programs, it announced. They are:

• 4C for Children’s Ramp Up for Quality. By June of 2020, the state has required that any day care must have a star rating to receive Ohio funding. This program is helping them earn at least one star

• Axis Teen Centers, Edge Teen Center, Academic Success. An after-school program in West Chester and Liberty Township

•  Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Butler County, for one-to-one mentoring

•  Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton, for after-school and summer youth development

•  Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty, for Power Hour after-school programming

•  Mentoring Partners of Cincinnati, Relationships for Life, a mentoring program for students that prepares them for careers.

•  Envision Partnerships, Project Success, for helping children avoid risky behaviors

•  Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, for Girl Scout Leadership Experience for the scouts

•  Hamilton Living Water Ministry, Inc., Building Success - Children and Youth Program, for during and after school programming

• Oxford Literacy Team, Super Summer Readers.

• PARACHUTE: Butler County CASA, CASA Advocacy: A Voice for Abused Children, for advocacy for them in court

• Shared Harvest Foodbank, BackPack Program for needy children, with food for them over weekends.

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Another $153,000 went to programs in the financial stability/basic needs category. Those included for the American Red Cross Ohio River Valley, disaster emergency services and preparedness programs; Hamilton Living Water Ministry, Inc., Supporting Success; Hope House Rescue Mission, Inc., for its emergency shelter; Lifespan, Inc., for the Butler County Financial Stability Program that teaches financial skills and debt management to youth and adults; Oxford Community Choice Pantry, for the food pantry; Oxford Family Resource Center, for emergency assistance funds; SELF (Supports to Encourage Low-income Families), for its Build-Up Academy; Shared Harvest Foodbank, for its Comprehensive Hunger Relief Program; and YWCA of Hamilton, Dove House, for the county’s only domestic violence shelter.

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Another $127,800 is going to 10 programs that focus on healthy lives.

Those include to Butler County Special Olympics, for the Butler County Special Olympics; Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio, for comprehensive behavioral health care; Oxford Free Clinic, for the Medications and Testing Program; Oxford Senior Citizens, Inc., for adult day services; Oxford Senior Citizens, Inc., for outreach services; Oxford Senior Citizens, Inc., for recreation and wellness; Oxford Senior Citizens, Inc., for senior and medical transportation; Primary Health Solutions, for access to integrated dental care; Sojourner Recovery Services, for its program that helps pregnant women and new women get off drugs; and Women Helping Women for rape crisis and prevention services.

Also in United Way efforts:

• The Booker T. Washington Community Center Collaboration received $32,000 in funding through its lead agency, Great Miami Valley YMCA.

• Home Visitation Collaboration received $30,000 through its lead agency, Every Child Succeeds.

• Parent Project Collaboration received $28,000 through its lead agency, Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio.

The United Way also announced that through its Building Block volunteer efforts, another $857,000 in goods and services were provided to area agencies, such as volunteer staffing.

“The total impact to Butler County residents exceeded $1.7 million,” the agency announced. It called that “a true testament to how everyone giving a little can have a huge impact on the lives of so many.”

People wishing to help by donating, advocating or volunteering can call the United Way at 513-863-0800 or can visit www.bc-unitedway.org.

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