Since 1922, United Way has been present in Stark County. We started celebrating our centennial on Feb 20, 2022 and will continue to celebrate the many years of progress and transformation throughout 2022.
100 years of history
For 100 years, the United Way of Greater Stark County has focused on building a better, equitable community where every person has the potential for a healthier life, better education, and more financial stability. During this time, the needs of our community have become increasingly complex. Fortunately, our understanding of how to effectively address community needs has also evolved.
Disturbing data shows there is an urgent need to address childhood poverty, which threatens our youngest residents, our community, and our future. The price of poverty is large and affects all of us as a community. Over the years, United Way has remained steadfast in the spirit of innovation and transformed into a social impact organization that takes on the big, complex, and daunting challenges our community faces daily. As we look toward our future, we’ll continue to do just that.
To break the cycle of poverty, we must meet immediate needs, while also increasing the earnings of families. We believe that we must disrupt the vicious cycle of disinvestment and displacement which damage the vitality of communities of families with low, or even no income. To do that, we will focus efforts on children and families most at risk of remaining or becoming poor. We will provide support for single-parent families. We will work within neighborhoods - bringing resources directly to residents of those neighborhoods based on each one’s unique needs.
In honor of our past, and looking towards the future, to commemorate our Centennial year, we will launch the Strong Neighborhoods, Strong Families initiative. The first phase of this project will begin in Southeast Canton and the Shorb Neighborhood with the placement of Neighborhood Resource Connectors to directly work with residents and link them to services. Our goal is to start with one block, then one neighborhood and create a ripple effect of change across Stark County.
We are driven to mobilize the caring power of this community. The future of Stark County’s neighborhoods depends upon our collective efforts to address the root cause of poverty. It starts with understanding where people come from, addressing disparities, and strengthening neighborhoods in partnership with their residents.
It starts with you.
Centennial Children's Art
As part of our centennial celebration, we asked local children in grades Kindergarten through 6 to create art centering around kindness in the community, so we could celebrate all the different types of giving and kindness we see. Kindness during uncertain times is a great way to connect friends, neighbors and even strangers when they need it most. We wanted to recognize and celebrate, the many people who express kindness, gratitude, and giving all around our community.
Children give us the greatest examples of unselfish giving, and they remind us, oftentimes through their artwork, that kindness is inherent in all of us.
We received many amazing pieces of artwork and everything is online now for everyone to see kindness through their eyes. See artwork HERE.
Through the merging of Alliance Area United Way, United Way of Central Stark County and United Way of Western Stark County, United Way has been a part of this community for a century. We couldn’t have made it this far without the support of our amazing and generous donors, volunteers, workplaces and community partners. Since 1922, United Way has been an integral part of the community, bringing people together to create stronger neighborhoods. We have continued to work hard over the years to make our community a better place through health education and financial stability programs and advocating for compelling policy change. Over the years, United Way has remained steadfast in the spirit of innovation and transformed into a social impact organization that takes on the big, complex, and daunting challenges our community faces daily.
Read our editorial that our Centennial Committee Co-Chairs Tonya Wright and Diane Pete wrote HERE