The United Way both works with other organizations and runs programs of its own.
“We just finished our strategic plan and one thing that came out of it is that there seems to be a need for information about our community,” said Hearn. “This would help us decide what initiative to support. We want to be able to have the biggest impact we can,”
To get this information a Vital Signs report will be prepared.
This will be a report other non-profits, businesses and municipalities can use when making plans. Information gathering is expected to be done by the end of the summer, with the report published in October.
Vital Signs reports on other communities can be viewed online.
To help children, the United Way runs a Bikes for Kids program, which involves collecting gently-used bikes, fixing them when necessary and giving them to children who can’t afford new ones. There is also a Back to School campaign, which has operated for several years, providing school supply kits to children at the beginning of the school year.
Getting out in the community and doing physical jobs is the focus when the Colchester United Way holds its Day of Caring in late September. Volunteers from throughout the community show up and take on projects for non-profit groups.
In 2016 the United Way’s Youth Committee made Christmas brighter when they ran an Elves for Elder program, collecting donated gifts and giving them to seniors.
Fine-tuning is currently being done on criteria for a small project fund that would provide up to $500 for projects or events. This is a new project for the local United Way.
The United Way focuses on moving people out of poverty, strengthening community and helping children be their best.