Since 1955, United Way of Logan County has been at the heart of the community uniting individuals, businesses and organizations to create lasting change. Over the years, they have become the philanthropic hub of Logan County, providing essential support and resources to improve the lives of its residents.
136 years ago, in Denver Colorado, United Way’s roots trace back to a seemingly unlikely gathering. A woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi came together and conceived the nation’s first united campaign, which benefited 10 health and welfare agencies in the area. Their idea, which inevitably sounds like the beginning of a bad joke – led to the creation of an organization that coordinated relief services, counseled and referred clients to cooperating agencies, and provided emergency assistance grants. That year, the group raised $21,700 for this greater good and marked the inception of a movement that would become United Way. The spirit of giving and community support then spread to Logan County, Ohio in 1955 when local community leaders organized the United Fund of Logan County.
Since 1955, generations of local residents and businesses make their charitable impact through United Way. When you give to United Way, you become a part of a long-standing solution that works to positively influence the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Logan County. United Way is most well-known for the traditional “Workplace Campaign,” in which employees at participating businesses have the opportunity to make a pledge to give to United Way via payroll deduction throughout the year. It’s a convenient and easy way for people to make a difference locally year-round. More than just a fundraiser, United Way collaborates with businesses, non-profits, government, and civic organizations to address the growing needs of our community. No gift is too large or too small, as your contributions of time and treasure unite with those of others to make a difference here at home.
93 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to local programming, beating the Better Business Bureau’s Standard of Charitable Accountability of 65 cents on the dollar. Not only do they keep the money raised local, but the team at United Way believes in being involved in the local community, also. By being a member of the Chamber, they are better connected with their neighbors and business leaders and can stay aware of what’s happening in the community. For aspiring entrepreneurs, Dave Bezusko, Executive Director of United Way, offers a crucial piece of advice: “In your business plan, think about ways in which your business and your customers can give back to the community. Scores of surveys and research shows that consumers have a more positive perception toward small businesses and large corporations who are socially responsible and give back in a purposeful way.”
Ashley Spence, Resource Coordinator and their Licensed Social Worker, is embedded in nine participating workplaces in Logan County to meet one-on-one with employees about non-work related issues and connect them with available resources. Locally, United Way was voted Best Non-Profit in the Best of Loco contest.
United Way plans to launch a new program this fall and will be hiring for a full-time VITA Program Coordinator. This will be a public-facing role within the United Way of Logan County. The position fills a critical part of the Strategic Plan to positively influence the financial stability of every person in Logan County by coordinating and supervising all aspects of their new Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. The VITA program serves low- and middle-income families, providing free tax preparation and filing in Logan County. The starting salary will be between $45,000 and $50,000 and the successful candidate will have a Bachelor’s Degree and / or 1-3 years of experience in any of the following: Tax Preparation, Volunteer Management, Banking or Finance, Social Service, Non-Profit work.
United Way is now located at 653 S. Main St., Bellefontaine, where they moved to in 2022. Along with Dave and Ashley, others on the United Way team are Melody Couchman, Community & Engagement Director and Linda Sundburg, Bookkeeper. Coming up this month is United Way of Logan County’s big Community Care Day on August 25. Community Care Day is an annual event where hundreds of volunteers from area workplaces, churches and civic organizations will work on meaningful group projects and make a difference in Logan County! You and your coworkers can sign up here: uwlogan.org/community-care-day-2023 and enjoy a fun day of giving back to the community. You can find this event, and others on their website: uwlogan.org. There, you will also see more information about the impact they have had in Logan County, their programs, and more!
Please join us in congratulating United Way of Logan County on being the Logan County Chamber of Commerce August 2023 Business of the Month!