Merged United Way holds kickoff in Oxford

Merger of the Oxford United Way into the larger Butler County organization may be creating some questions among residents familiar with the way things have been done in the past, but local agencies are still seeing the funding support they have come to expect.

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Oxford-area agencies are among those recently announced as receiving funding in the coming financing cycle.

Butler County United Way staff members were on hand for a June 26 kickoff Uptown intended to introduce themselves to the community following the February merger.

The kickoff featured booths by several Oxford agencies to talk about their mission in the community.

“The kickoff was a community celebration to thank people for their support and to let them know what we do in the community,” said Pam Cottle, vice president of operations for Butler County United Way.

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Cottle explained the annual calendar for the Butler County United Way is different from what the Oxford community may be used to seeing.

Instead of taking agency applications in February and allocating funding dependent on reaching a campaign goal, Butler County works all year to raise funds for the coming year. Once a funding total is set, they allocate money to agencies based on the amount raised.

Recipient agencies for funding in the coming year were identified in late June.

“This year Butler County United Way will allocate over $347,000 to 12 agencies/education programs that serve children as well as adults,” Cottle said.

The Oxford Literacy team was included among the 12 as were:

  • Axis Teen Centers
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Butler County
  • Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton
  • Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty
  • Cru Student Outreach of Butler County
  • Girl Scouts of Western Ohio
  • Hamilton Living Water Ministry Inc.
  • Lifespan Inc. school-based support services
  • PARACHUTE: Butler County CASA: A Voice for Abused Children
  • Shared Harvest Foodbank's backpack food program

In the income stability/basic needs category, Butler County United Way will fund 14 agencies for a total of $347,000.

Oxford-area recipients in that category include:

  • Oxford Community Choice Pantry
  • Family Resource Center for the Oxford Works program
  • Oxford PUSH (People United for Self Help).

Others in that category include:

  • American Red Cross Butler County
  • Hamilton Living Water Ministry, Inc.
  • Hope House Rescue Mission, Inc.
  • Lifespan, Inc., for financial stability program
  • People Working Cooperatively, Inc., for home repair and modification program
  • SELF for three separate programs Neighbors Who Care: Home Repair, Individual Development Accounts and Build-Up Academy
  • Shared Harvest Foodbank, Foodbanking/SNAP Outreach and CSFP Programs
  • YWCA of Hamilton, supporting Goodman Place and Dove House

An additional $180,000 was awarded to 12 agencies and programs focusing on healthy lives, including:

  • Coalition for a Healthy Community, Oxford Area
  • Oxford Free Clinic
  • Oxford Senior Citizens, Inc.

The others are:

  • Butler County Special Olympics
  • Cancer Family Care, Treehouse Children's Services Program
  • Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio
  • Comprehensive Behavioral Health Care
  • Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Primary Health Solutions, access to dental care
  • Sojourner Recovery Services, perinatal program
  • Wesley Community Services, Independent Living Assistance
  • Women Helping Women, Butler County Rape Crisis and Prevention Services
  • YWCA of Hamilton

Several special collaborations received $97,000 for multiple programs supporting all three pillars of education, financial stability and healthy lives. They are:

  • Booker T. Washington Community Center Collaboration received $37,000 in funding through the lead agency, Great Miami Valley YMCA, as well as other partners including Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton, the City of Hamilton, The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, and Miami University Hamilton and Oxford Campuses.
  • Home Visitation Collaboration received $33,000 in funding through the lead agency, Every Child Succeeds, along with partner agencies Butler County Educational Service Center and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Parent Project Collaboration received $27,000 in funding through the lead agency, Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio in collaboration with Butler County Family and Children First Council and Butler County Juvenile Justice Center/Juvenile Court. Other partner agencies include Fairfield City School District, Hamilton City School District, Madison Local School District, Middletown City Schools, Talawanda School District and Miami University.

Cottle explained an additional $1.3 million in goods and services are used for the Building Block volunteer events with items redistributed in packages such as literacy, hygiene and baby care kits as well as community gardens, cooking classes and Christmas care packages.

“The generosity of our community is a true testament to how everyone giving a little can have a huge impact on the lives of so many,” she said, explaining volunteers gather to put the kits together. “They are donated to pre-school and elementary schools as a spur the mind kind of thing. We gave out more than 300 teddy bears last Christmas. We have Welcome to the World kits through Primary Health Solutions for new moms to help out with what they need for the baby.”

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