Anne with her sons in front of Jackson High School

United Way calls for donor action to meet urgent community needs

(Stark and Carroll Counties, OH) Oct. 22, 2020 — With five weeks left in its annual fundraising campaign, United Way of Greater Stark County is calling on community residents to donate and help meet the growing needs of Stark and Carroll Counties. The organization has raised $2.2 million, which is 43% percent of its $5.1 million goal.

“This year has brought hardship to so many in our community, but this campaign is an opportunity to provide relief for those who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Chris Goff, 2020 Campaign Chair and Employers Health CEO and General Counsel. “We’re incredibly grateful to those who have already donated, and we know their contributions will make a difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors. But to address the growing needs in our community, it’s critical we hit our fundraising goal.”

Through its annual campaign, the organization funds a local network of nonprofit community partners, direct services and collaborations.

One of its funded programs is the CARE Team Initiative, a program through the Stark County Educational Service Center that provides intervention and support to students struggling with non-academic barriers. The program serves approximately 8,500 students, in 21 school districts and 114 buildings throughout Stark and Carroll Counties, connecting students and their families with social service resources and support.

Ann Walker, a mother of three boys, shared her family’s experience with CARE Team after a medical emergency last year. For several months, the program at Jackson Local Schools provided her sons with meals and gift cards, so they could visit her during her extended hospital stay.

“The program is amazing,” said Walker, “Without the support of United Way, I’m afraid of what would have happened … if my kids did not have food and I wasn’t there to go to the store, or they didn’t have money to go buy it. None of this would have been possible without United Way.”

“Ann’s story is a powerful example of the impact donors have to change lives,” said United Way of Greater Stark County President and CEO Maria Heege. “CARE Team connects students to the community resources they need. Programs like CARE Team are critical for families in our community. Addressing these non-academic issues can make an immediate difference for these students and impacts their lives for years to come. You make these stories like Ann’s possible.” 

To make a donation, visit

About CARE Team
Stark County CARE Team offers support and intervention for any youth facing non-academic barriers in school. CARE Teams are comprised of administrators, school counselors, teachers, nurses, family support specialists, and staff from multiple community agencies including law enforcement, mental health, alcohol and drug and other social service agencies. Teams work together in a school-based environment to address challenges facing our student population and their families. The Stark County ESC’s CARE Team Initiative partners and collaborates with the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Stark County Family Council, Stark County Family Court, Stark County Health Department, Stark County Job and Family Services, Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery, Stark Education Partnership, and United Way of Greater Stark County. These partnerships offer braided funding and in-kind services to 114 CARE Team school buildings in 21 school districts served by the Stark County ESC. These partnerships also promote professional development training for administrators, teachers, school support staff, and parents.

About United Way of Greater Stark County
United Way of Greater Stark County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We win by living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crisis. Our mission is to improve the quality of life in our communities by leading in the development of solutions to critical social issues in the areas of health, education and financial stability. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445.