By Kimberly Murphy—
So much has happened these last few years, it’s hard to know where to begin. I’ve gone from a struggling single mom to a woman confident in her abilities, a newly minted college graduate. I know I am on the edge of realizing my dreams.
United Way of Delaware, Henry and Randolph Counties and the programs they fund and support, have been with me every step of the way. I am grateful that I am evidence of how the work they do – the work you support with your dollars – can create positive change for not just me but all the lives I touch.
You see, it was just five years ago that I did not know how I could make ends meet. In fact, I couldn’t. A single mom, with few resources and much responsibility, I was that statistic you’ve probably heard about – among the half in Delaware County living in or just at the poverty line.
It wasn’t long ago that my daily choices were between food, kids, cars and the house. Today, I am poised for a fulltime job in a field I love – social work.
I knew that to complete my undergraduate work, I wanted my practicum – my final step toward graduation – to be at United Way. I had to give back. I wanted to give back.
United Way reaches every aspect of our community. I think of them as an umbrella that shields our community. As the rain drops are resources and as they flow over the umbrella, United Way distributes those resources into the community.
We need them, and they need you.
In Delaware County, nearly half live in poverty or are ALICE families– these are families who have jobs but are on a razor thin budget, the slightest disruption means disaster. This was me.
I learned financial literacy through Second Harvest and was a 2015 Circle Leader graduate, which meant I participated in a 16-week course that taught me steps to get out of poverty and gave me mentors throughout the year who held me accountable. Today, I’ll teach others those same life skills.
In July, I graduated from Ball State University with a degree in social work and a minor in financial planning and investments. I spent the summer coordinating a rental assistance program for PathStone. While assisting clients, I saw firsthand just what a small group of people can do when they work together. I started my practicum just as the COVID-19 pandemic was setting in. I watched our United Way respond quickly and harness the power of more than 80 organizations. I saw how they facilitated not just granting emergency dollars to nonprofits, but also coordinated people working together to help as many people as possible.
My story is the United Way story. It’s because of you – the everyday heroes of Muncie and Delaware County – that this life of possibility is available to me.
Because I met my goal, our community benefits, too. More people to employ. More people with meaningful disposable income. More people to give back and help others. Because of United Way, I am not a statistic. I’m a success.
If you haven’t yet please click here to give now.
Kimberly Murphy, an advocate for United Way of Delaware, Henry and Randolph Counties, plans to pursue a master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) within the next year.