Do you ever wonder what exactly the United Way does? The goal of United Way of Central Kansas is to lighten the load off of local non-profit organizations, help to organize the community around varying goals in the areas of Health, Income, and Education, and to ensure that the money you donate is going to organizations that need the assistance and use their funds efficiently and effectively. The first part of this goal is to lighten the load off of local non-profit organizations by doing the fundraising for them. Organizing fundraisers and enlisting donors and volunteers can be very time consuming. United Way steps in to raise funds for our 23 local Community Partners so that they can spend their time doing the amazing, and oftentimes heart wrenching, work that they do on a daily basis. By providing a steady stream of donations to these organizations, they do not have to come up with new fundraising events, organize those events, and solicit donors to get the donations that they need.
United Way of Central Kansas helps to bring our Community Partners together to fight for the common good of our community. We do this by recognizing needs within the community and bringing together the agencies that can help to solve those needs. One recent example of this is our Box of Love project. UWCK does a lot of work for the youth in our communities, but recognized a gap in concern for home bound seniors in our area. We were able to bring together Meals on Wheels, ElderCare, and Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice to spread Valentines Day cheer to the seniors in our community who don’t have regular contact with family and friends. To bring in even more of our agencies and deepen the meaning behind these Boxes of Love, we enlisted the help of Great Bend Children’s Learning Center, Caring Hands Daycare, and Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland to make Valentines Day cards for each of the 150 boxes that will be delivered on Valentine’s Day. This project was such a hit our first year, that we were able to expand it to Pawnee County as well, and plan to continue this project into the future.
Our Community Partners are not chosen at random and United Way dollars are not given to organizations that have not been reviewed by the United Way Board. Every two years, our Community Partners must apply for funding and provide substantiation of the need for the funds, how the funds are used, and ensure that they are in good standing as a charitable organization. This ensures that the dollars that you donate to United Way are being put to good use and are making a direct impact on members of our community. UWCK also does Community Impact Projects throughout the year that can make direct impacts on every member of the community. These projects include Literacy Kits to pre-K students at every Elementary School, the Born Learning Trails in Claflin and Great Bend, Reality U, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. United Way of Central Kansas strives to make sure that the $275,000, 99% of which stays local, it has raised is being used to fund organizations and projects that the community is in need of and listens to members of the community to find out what we should be doing. If you want to continue to see these organizations supported and these programs being implemented, please donate to United Way. You can mail your tax-deductible donations to UWCK, 1125 Williams, Great Bend, KS 67530 to start making a difference today.