United Way Embracing Bold Initiatives, Making A Difference

Photo provided by: Liz LudwickPhoto provided by: Liz Ludwick

By: Liz Ludwick—

Muncie, IN—Were it not for my role this year as co-chair of the 2019 Campaign for the United Way of Delaware and Henry Counties, I wouldn’t have had a peak behind the curtains of the United Way organizations—into their gymnasiums and offices, where the real work happens.

WaTasha Barnes Griffin is Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA of Central Indiana, but her community presence goes far beyond the brick walls of her Charles Street building.

There is Teresa Clemmons at A Better Way and Jonathan Jones leads Motivate Our Minds.

Jason Newman oversees the operation of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie and serves kids at the Madison Street location and throughout the city.

These are just a few of the men and women whose job every day is to serve the microcosm communities inside our community – those most in need. They are the names and faces you may not know— the men and women whose work hours extend into nights and weekends and holidays, advocating and representing.

These individuals have 8 to 5 jobs, yet are still passionately committed to serving those in need. Be still my heart! I am in total awe of each of them.

I am more convinced than ever that our community is embracing the overarching goal of United Way – to end generational poverty through early childhood education and intervention. In fact, this year’s new two-year funding cycle earmarks just over $800,000 going to fund 28 programs in 23 Delaware County organizations.

We are strategically investing in organizations that have programming which ensure:

  • Children are born healthy and ready for kindergarten
  • There is out-of-school learning support community-wide
  • Young people reach graduation and post-secondary experiences
  • The community is filled with thriving individuals and families
  • People are living healthy, independent lives
  • Safety net services address and prevent traumatic childhood experiences

My favorite part of this campaign, by far, have been my encounters with the people who make it happen. The internal staff of United Way, the loaned executives, representing all parts of our community and all professional walks of life, and the men and women running the organizations that United Way funds toward a central objective. I have a strong sense that we are all moving forward together, making a difference each day, each week, each year.

It is not likely that my path would have crossed with these individuals had it not been for this co-chair role. For that I am grateful.

Muncie is full of wonderful people who are committed to United Way and to Muncie. As we near the end of the 2019 United Way campaign, if you haven’t already, I’m asking you to consider financially supporting this campaign. Our goal is to raise $1.5 million and that money stays right here in our community, going directly to our programs that help families and their children to reach the goals that we know will put us on the path to end generational poverty.

About United Way of Delaware and Henry Counties

Liz Ludwick is co-chair, along with Damon Elmore, of the 2019 Campaign. Both are employed at Muncie Power Products. 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.