By: Juli Metzger—
Muncie, IN—Brooke and Brian Shrieve are very busy these days.
Running three businesses, shuttling their children to after-school activities during the week and catching up on things at home on the weekends means there isn’t a lot of time for anything else.
It’s for family and community, they support the United Way of Delaware and Henry Counties.
“We knew right away that the United Way would be a great place to give our time and money when we can,” Brooke said between appointments. “We know that it’s a safe, healthy place to contribute to because we know they are working hard every day to make this community better.”
It was after a conversation with then campaign chair Casey Stanley (of Ontario Systems) a few years ago that Brooke and Brian “came on board.”
She admitted that before that, she didn’t know much about United Way and all of the people in the community it supports.
“Since then, we have learned more about the programs and people like Jenni Marsh (Chief Executive Officer), who understand what the needs are and give their heart and soul to meet those needs,” Brooke added.
Brooke said she and her husband are drawn to the United Way programs that help young children develop a love of reading.
“It can be something as simple as providing a book,” she said. Or, in the case of the United Way’s partnership with the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, it could be several books.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a program providing children (ages newborn to 5 years old) with a free monthly, high-quality book to Delaware County residents. There are almost 1,000 children currently enrolled in the program.
“Putting books in their hands seems like a small thing, but it can have such a huge impact,” Brooke said.
Brooke and Brian have been business owners in Muncie for more than 13 years, opening Redhead Salon first, followed by Amber’s Beauty School and White Spot Laundry.
They have seen students at Amber’s or families at White Spot striving to free themselves from the grip of generational poverty. “And we want to be a part of ending that cycle,” she said.
They try to do that at their businesses and through their contributions to the United Way.
To conquer generational poverty, UWDC has adopted the bold goal that by 2024 all third graders will be reading at grade level — the single greatest indicator of a child’s success in school and life. Campaign contributions will be strategically invested in local programs to help put children on a pathway out of poverty through better educational outcomes.
“That’s very important to us,” Brooke said. “It’s important for our entire community.”
About United Way of Delaware and Henry Counties
United Way of Delaware and Henry Counties focusing resources on education, health, and financial stability. The non-profit fights to create lasting change in community conditions. With its bold goal to reach grade-level reading by 2024, United Way works to help children read at or above grade level by the end of their third-grade year. Learn more at invitedtoliveunited.org.