Our investment

When individuals and families in our community struggle, it impacts all of us. And when our neighbors succeed, our whole community succeeds.
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In Stark County, 1 in 5 children are living in poverty.

When our neighbors are unable to find jobs or unable to make enough money to provide for their basic needs, they are forced to make difficult decisions. A parent choosing between paying their water bill or buying food for dinner means a child will suffer with either decision. 

When that same child goes to school with an empty stomach or without bathing, it becomes difficult to concentrate and succeed academically. And living in an unstable household now limits that child’s ability to thrive and build a stable household in the future — and the cycle of poverty continues. 


Addressing childhood poverty in our community

United Way is dedicated to helping and supporting families and children in need. Along with our investment priorities, we recognize that child poverty is an issue that cannot be ignored in our community, and community resources must be aligned to address this urgent crisis. Nearly one out of every five children in Stark County live in households below the poverty level.

Read the child poverty report


We envision a community where all individuals and families have access to health care and work to improve their health. By working with our community partners, we can help those in need of good mental health care, overall health care and prenatal care for moms and babies. 

We are creating healthy systems and environments to promote healthy lifestyles for all ages. 

  • Increase health insurance and health care access 
  • Improve access to healthy food and nutrition programs 
  • Provide information and resources for prenatal care 
Learn about access to health


Childhood success

We envision a community where all children enter school ready and are successful in primary school. We work with community partners to make sure children in our community have the skills they need to be successful academically and beyond. 

This means ensuring children ages zero to eight have the support and tools they need to promote early development, a smooth transition to kindergarten and success in elementary school.

  • Promote parent engagement 
  • Access to quality pre-kindergarten schooling and education 
  • Increase literacy support 
Learn more about education


Youth success

We envision a community where our youth gain the knowledge, skills and credentials to obtain family-sustaining employment. 

This will require increased efforts to support youth ages 0 to 8. We’re focused on helping children gain knowledge and experience to succeed in the future.

  • Provide mentoring programs
  • Increase tutoring opportunities
  • Increase literacy support
About youth success

Basic housing needs

Meeting the basic housing needs of community members remains of great concern to United Way. Funding has been set aside to support currently funded providers of those programs, i.e. homeless and domestic violence shelters, utility assistance and rent/mortgage payment. Available funding is contingent upon the annual fundraising campaign.

About financial stability

Community impact

How we measure our results

United Way currently invests $722,232 in 15 programs focused on providing pathways out of poverty through basic housing need programs, allowing families to build long-term economic independence and mobility.

Volunteer income tax assistance

One of our financial stability programs, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), is a service that helps moderate to low-income households file their taxes for free, meet basic needs and build financial assets as they continue to achieve long-term financial independence. For families struggling to make ends meet, a few extra dollars in their pockets can make all the difference. IRS-certified volunteers ensure clients receive the credits and refunds for which they are eligible including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty programs. 

Through United Way’s Economic Mobility Center, collaborations and our funded partner programs, we’re helping to lift more families in our community out of poverty. 

Community investments list 

When you give to United Way of Greater Stark County, your donation supports our direct services, collaborations and partner programs to address the immediate needs of today and build long-term solutions for tomorrow.

About our community investments