WARREN, Ohio – The United Way of Trumbull County hosted a listening session for public and private-sector leaders in February to guide it in the recovery from the pandemic.
Representatives of business, industry, health care, education, government, labor, faith leaders and service providers attended the session. United Way officials used the lessons learned to help children and families.
While working to meet the immediate needs of the community, UWTC also looked at literacy as a predictor of success, says Ginny Pasha, president.
Through its Reading Great by 8 early literacy initiative, the chapter offers a continuum of programming for children through second grade.
It also ramped up enrollment in the Governors Imagination Library, thanks to a grant from the Cafaro Foundation and a visit by Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine in October. The program has provided free books to 42% of kids under the age of 5 in Trumbull County.
Also in 2021, the Born Learning Trail was finished in Perkins Park in downtown Warren. Like the Governor’s Imagination Library, the Born Learning Trail is an evidence-based, learning experience for children and their families that promotes early literacy and healthful eating habits.
Health continues to be an area of focus for United Way and the need became even more pronounced due to COVID-19. During 2021, the need for insulin assistance was more evident and with the support of the Women United Affinity Group, more than 175 vouchers were provided to seniors to assist with the cost of medication.
With the help of donations, the chapter was able to provide financial support to its partner agencies who were on the front lines of offering social support in 2020 and 2021.
The pandemic exposed the need for UWTC to upgrade technology, and it did so in 2021, Pasha says. The upgrades added an additional layer of security to protect donor privacy.