(Stark County, OH) May 17, 2022 – United Way staff and representatives from local nonprofits came together this past Thursday, May 12 to celebrate the 10 graduates that completed United Way of Greater Stark County’s first Give 5 program. Give 5 is a no-cost civic-matchmaking volunteer program that connects retired individuals with meaningful volunteer opportunities that best fit their skill sets and passions.
The class met for three Thursdays beginning April 21st to get an in-depth view of poverty in Stark County as well as tour 13 different nonprofit organizations that are focused on improving our community’s childhood poverty. Melinda Graham, one of the graduates shared that, “starting with basic information about the reality of poverty and the need in Stark County was critical to having a better understanding of what the United Way and these agencies are up against. A real eye-opener for most of us!”
With the help of SARTA, the class was able to travel throughout Stark County and visit the following agencies whom each shared a little about the vital work they are doing as well as information about volunteer needs and opportunities: Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health, Canton For All People, EN-RICH-MENT, First Tee of Canton, Hannah’s House 119, JRC, Lighthouse Ministries, Stark County Hunger Task Force, Tiqvah Hands of Hope, United Way of Greater Stark County, YMCA of Western Stark County, YWCA Canton, and YWCA of Alliance.
Thanks to the program’s presenting sponsor, United Healthcare, Give 5 helps to provide a behind-the-scenes look into some of the nonprofit organizations in our community as well as help fight one of the biggest health risks for retirees – isolation. Another participant of the program, Lester Strode Jr., said “I just recently retired and my contact with others was limited. Give 5 is a good opportunity to socialize with others…[and] a good way to give back and make a difference in the community with the experiences you’ve had in your life.”
All 10 of the graduates selected at least one nonprofit that they wanted to give 5 or more volunteer hours a month to, and many graduates selected multiple!
United Way will offer two classes of Give 5 annually with the next class starting in October 2022. The class will meet on Wednesdays, October 5, 12 and 19, 2022 from 9 am until 4:30 pm.
“I think the Give 5 program is a great opportunity for everybody,” says Ginger Green, a Give 5 graduate. “As employees, we have been running 150 miles an hour until you retire and suddenly are down to zero. We’ve got wisdom, knowledge, and specific skills that these agencies told us they are in need of. The program helps to offer a purpose for a retiree; something that is meaningful, and that supports the community.”
Interested participants can sign up for the next class at uwstark.org/give-5.
Give 5 is a program of United Way of Greater Stark County and is funded by sponsoring organizations and private donors. Presenting sponsor is United Healthcare. Additional sponsors include: silver sponsor – Sirak Financial Services, supporting sponsor – Cutler Real Estate, in-kind sponsor – SARTA.
About United Way of Greater Stark County
For 100 years, United Way of Greater Stark County has served Stark and Carroll Counties. During that time, we have continued to build a better, equitable community where every person has the potential for a healthier life, a better education and more financial stability. We look to the future through our investment priorities, which ensure our community will have the foundation it needs to thrive: Access to Health, Childhood Success, Youth Success, Economic Mobility and Basic Housing Needs. With the support of volunteers, community partners and donors, we invest donor dollars efficiently and effectively into local community programs serving the most critical needs. Learn more at uwstark.org.